Monday, September 26, 2022

NGT seeks action plan from J&K Chief Secy over safety norms for Amarnath pilgrims

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | September 05, 2022 05:59 PM

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought the response of the Chief Secretary and Pollution Control Committee of Jammu and Kashmir regarding the plan of action to prevent accidents due to violation of environmental and safety norms near Amarnath holy cave in view of a recent tragedy.

The NGT principal bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel was hearing a plea against violation of environmental and safety norms in setting up of tents for pilgrims in the dry riverbed near the Amarnath cave. The petitioner was pointing out a tragedy that took place in July, in which 16 pilgrims lost their lives as there was a flash flood.

It highlighted a media report in which it cited the absence of compliance with safety norms. The petitioner submitted that the riverbed and floodplain have to be kept free for environmental functions and also to avoid such accidents. In the recent order, the green court issued notice to the Chief Secretary and PCC for their response within one month and listed for further consideration on November 4.

The pilgrimage known as Amarnath Yatra was flagged off on June 30 after remaining suspended for two years due to the Covid pandemic, and lakhs of devotees have completed the pilgrimage.

On July 8, nearly 16 pilgrims were killed, and many were injured after a cloudburst near the Amarnath cave shrine caused flash floods. At least three langars (community kitchens) and 25 Yatri tents were washed away in flash floods caused by the cloudburst.

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