NGT wants Amarnath shrine cave to be declared as 'Silent Zone'

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday suggested the area around Amarnath Shrine cave should be declared as 'silence zone' to prevent avalanches in the area.

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Looking to improve the environment around the holy shrine, the green body also said that throwing of offerings should be forbidden in the area.

The tribunal has appointed a committee to look into environmental protection and infrastructure for pilgrims at Amarnath Shrine.

The panel asked, "why Supreme Court's orders of 2012 for protection of the area haven't been followed?"

The noise around the area should be minimised to prevent any chances of avalanches, it said.

It also questioned why shops and toilets beyond a certain acceptable number have not been removed.

On Tuesday, the NGT had capped the daily number of pilgrims allowed to visit Vaishno Devi to 50,000. This was to ease pressure on authorities as well as on the environment. It had also halted construction activities inside the shrine.

The bench ordered that additional pilgrims should be stopped at Ardhkuwari or Katra town. The panel had also ordered that the newly-constructed path should be used for battery-operated cars from November 24.

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