The National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently decided to cap the number of pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi Shrine and also has allotted a budget to construct a new path to the shrine. Signing off a plea filed earlier in context to the indiscriminate use of animals like mules, ponies, horses as well as donkeys in order to carry people as well as goods from Katra to the Vaishno Devi Shrine, the NGT decided to cap the number of pilgrims to a figure of 50,000 people who will be visiting the Vaishno Devi temple to pay obeisance. Not more than 50,000 people at a time will be allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi temple as stated by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
50,000 People to Visit Vaishno Devi Shrine At A Time
A petition was filed by activist Gauri Maulekhi which sought the removal of horses and mules from the path which led to the Vaishno Devi Shrine. It was felt that the use of horses and mules in order to carry the goods as well as pilgrims from Katra to the Vaishno Devi Shrine was dangerous for not only the pedestrians but the senior citizens as well.
From now on, as per the NGT, 50,000 pilgrims will only be allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi Shrine at a time as the shrine structure possesses that much of capacity only. The NGT branch, further adding to it, cleared that if the number of pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine exceeded the stated figure, the excess number of pilgrims will be stopped either at Ardhkuwari or Katra town.
New Path To Vaishno Devi Shrine
Apart from fixing the number of pilgrims who will be visiting the Vaishno Devi Shrine at a time, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) further instructed the authorities to conduct a new path which will lead to the Vaishno Devi Shrine to be used by the pedestrians as well as the battery operated cars only. This path will come into force from 24th November’ 2017. A budget of Rs. 40 crores has been assigned to the same and any delay in the construction are likely to result in strict actions against the concerned authorities. To secure the cleanliness, the authorities have been further directed to impose an environment compensation fine of Rs. 2,000 to anyone who would be found littering the surroundings at the Katra town.
Source: News 18