Broaden passage leading to Amarnath cave: SC to J&K



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Jammu and Kashmir government and Amarnath Shrine Board to broaden the passage leading to holy Amarnath cave and bifurcate it to make separate way for the movement of pedestrian pilgrims and those who go there on horses.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar asked the state government to give urgent attention to medical, toilet, road and other facilities to the pilgrims and put rubber tiles on the passage near holy caves to prevent pilgrims slipping on road.

The court reserved its order after hearing extensive arguments and said that it would pass a detailed order next week.

The court had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on pilgrims’ deaths allegedly due to lack of proper facilities and medical care for them.

The apex court had earlier appointed a high-power committee to look into the issue of growing number of casualties of Amarnath pilgrims.

The committee comprises secretaries of various departments including those from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Home Affairs, Health and Child Welfare, besides the Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary.

The court had asked the committee to visit the shrine and give the report to J and K Governor who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), responsible for holding the Amarnath pilgrimage.

About 6.20 lakh pilgrims undertook the Amarnath Yatra this year which saw 93 casualties.

PTI