JAMMU AND KASHMIR: The green court today limited the number of devotees allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir to 50,000 per day. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) said once the limit is reached, devotees will be stopped either at Ardhkumari or Katra.
A new path to Vaishno Devi exclusively for pedestrians and battery-operated cars will also be thrown open from November 24. New constructions inside the shrine complex, however, have been put on hold.
The cap comes amid the increasing pressure of pilgrims on the shrine and its resources. Last year, the green court had directed the CEO of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to provide the details of the municipal solid waste (MSW) and sewage treatment plants (STPs) installed there and the remedial steps measures taken to tackle the problem after a plea that a large amount of untreated solid and liquid waste generated by pilgrims as well as horses, mules and ponies was disposed directly into Banganga river.