NGT caps daily Vaishno Devi Bhawan traffic at 50,000 pilgrims

The National Green Tribunal on Monday capped at 50,000 the number of pilgrims that can visit Vaishno Devi daily. Considering the Vaishno Devi Bhawan cannot accommodate more than 50,000 people, a NGT bench headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said any additional pilgrims would be stopped at Ardhkuwari or Katra town.

The green panel also said the new path to the shrine exclusively for pedestrians and battery-operated cars should be opened from November 24.The directions came during the hearing on an activist’s plea seeking an end to the practice of using horses and ponies for the pilgrimage on account of the “pollution and danger to public health” caused by their indiscriminate use.

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