ONLY 50,000


The New Indian Express - - FRONT PAGE - EX­PRESS NEWS SER­VICE @ New Delhi

Na­tional Green Tri­bunal is­sues di­rec­tion to avoid any un­to­ward in­ci­dent at shrine in Jammu

New path to shrine for pedes­tri­ans & bat­tery­op­er­ated cars will be opened on Nov 24

Soon, horses & mules won’t be al­lowed on old path as well

K2,000 fine for lit­ter­ing roads & Ka­tra bus stop

IN order to con­trol the in­creas­ing pol­lu­tion level, the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal on Mon­day said only 50,000 pil­grims will be al­lowed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu.

The tri­bunal Bench headed by Jus­tice Swatan­ter Ku­mar made it clear that if the num­ber of pil­grims ex­ceeds the pre­scribed 50,000 cap, they will be stopped at Ardhkuwari in Ka­tra town, con­sid­er­ing that the Bhawan struc­ture can­not ac­com­mo­date more than 50,000 peo­ple at a time.

The green panel also said that a new path to the shrine ex­clu­sively for pedes­tri­ans and bat­tery-op­er­ated cars will be opened from Novem­ber 24.

The NGT di­rected that no horses or mules shall be al­lowed on the new route to the shrine and these an­i­mals shall be re­moved slowly from the old path as well.

It also di­rected the au­thor­i­ties to im­pose a fine of `2,000 on any­one found lit­ter­ing the roads as well as the bus stop at the nearby Ka­tra town.

The green panel’s di­rec­tions came dur­ing the hear­ing of a plea filed by an ac­tivist seek­ing di­rec­tions to stop the use of horses and ponies in Vaishno Devi shrine premises in Jammu, prompt­ing the green panel to seek re­sponse from the Gov­ern­ment on the is­sue.

The di­rec­tions came while NGT was hear­ing a plea filed by ac­tivist Gauri Maulekhi seek­ing to re­move horses and mules from the path to the shrine, say­ing it was dan­ger­ous for the pedes­tri­ans, es­pe­cially the se­nior cit­i­zens.

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