Fragile environs in higher reaches of Amarnath cave need to be protected, says Tarigami

Srinagar: Chairman J&K Legislative Assembly’s Environment Committee, and MLA Kulgam, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami, Thursday said that the fragile environment in the upper reaches of Amaranth need to be protected even if there are no guidelines in place.

“We have a responsibility of protecting the fragile environs in the upper reaches, which is our asset,” he said, he however said that he has not gone through the guidelines issued by the NGT regarding the upper reaches of Amarnath Cave which is situated at the altitude of  12,756 ft (3,888 meters).

“And if there are guidelines that have been formulated, they need to be followed,” he said, “I will have to go through the guidelines by NGT before I can make any detailed comments on the issue,” he maintained.

On Wednesday, the National Green Tribunal had banned the chanting of mantras at Amarnath temple and issued a slew of orders to be implemented by the Amarnath Shrine Board, which it later clarified saying that the chanting and ringing of bells are banned inside the cave.

The earlier directions had come after the green court rapped the Amarnath Shrine Board last month for failing to provide adequate infrastructure facilities to pilgrims and asked it to submit a status report on the same in the first week of December.

The NGT’s clarification on Thursday followed protests by the right-wing outfits, which had termed its earlier order as a “Tughlaki fatwa” (whimsical whip). It had said that Hindus were not responsible for every ecological problem on the earth.

During the hearing in November, the tribunal had also sought to know if the Amarnath board had complied with the Supreme Court’s 2012 directions to improve infrastructure to prevent casualties during the pilgrimage. In 2012, the SC had set up a high-powered committee to recommend measures to prevent casualties during the Amarnath Yatra.

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


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