Hindu groups refuse to buy NGT clarification on Amarnath cave shrine

NGT Issues Clarification On Amarnath Matter Says'Devotees To Remain Silent Only In Front Of Shivling

The tribunal had on Wednesday said that the Amarnath Shrine Board should ensure that proper infrastructural facilities are provided to pilgrims so that they are not deprived of a clear "darshan", and the ecology of the area is maintained.

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday clarified that it had not declared the entire area inside the Amarnath cave shrine as a "silence zone".

The NGT had earlier asked the committee to consider declaring the area around the Amarnath Shrine cave as "silence zone" to prevent avalanches and ensure there is prohibition on carrying of religious offerings inside the cave to maintain its pristine nature.

The chanting and ringing the bell may have a unsafe impact on the environment in the south Kashmir valley, where the Amarnath temple is situated.

The bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also directed officials to remove the iron rods and grilles installed inside the Amarnath cave so that pilgrims can get a better view of the shrine. The new directions come after the NGT had rapped the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing adequate infrastructure facilities to the pilgrims. The petition in the tribunal was filed by environmental activist Gauri Maulekhi. There are no proper facilities for toilets, do you even know how humiliating this is for women? The Green Court issued a slew of orders to be implemented by the Amarnath Shrine Board.

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The bench comprising five judges-Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra , justices D.Y. Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan has been constituted.

The growing number of commercial activity poses a far greater challenge to the environment of Amarnath temple than chanting and "jayakaras".

The order clarified that "one way queue" of visitors or pilgrims will be maintained at the Shrine. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year barring a short period of time in summer when it is opened for pilgrims.

The Amarnath cave shrine is considered one of the major holy shrines by Hindus.

The dates for pilgrimage in 2018 are expected to be between July 2 and August 26.

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