NGT: Temples directed to preserve the environment

National Green Tribunal, New Delhi: The Bench comprising of Swatanter Kumar (Chairperson), U.D. Salvi (Judicial member) and Dr. Nagin Nanda (Expert member) passed the order with certain directions to the Amarnath Ji Shrine Board and Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, to maintain the environment by following certain orders, to curb the environmental pollution at their respective temples. The Tribunal, in its order instructed the Amarnath Ji Shrine Board to take the following measures that would ensure a watch over the environmental pollution at their holy cave of Amarnath:

1. The restriction for the one way queue to be maintained.

2. No devotee/pilgrim/person should be allowed to carry any article like mobile, etc from the last stair onwards and a separate facility to be provided for such articles to be deposited by the devotee/pilgrim/person at the frisking point.

3. The entire holy cave to be treated as a ‘Silence-Zone’.

The Bench further directed the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to take certain measures to ensure a check on the environment, with the directions being:

1. that the Status Compliance Report to be filed within two weeks by the State Government and all other pending compliance reports be submitted within the given time period;

2. that the ‘Rehabilitation plans’ for horses/mules be finalized and put in the public domain within 3 weeks and without any further delay.

Also, the Tribunal asked both the Boards for any further suggestions that they see fit to counter this threat of environmental problem at their respective places. [Gauri Maulekhi v. State of J&K, Original Application No. 473 of 2015, decided on 13-12-2017]

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