The National Green Tribunal today directed that only 50 thousand pilgrims will be allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu to avoid any untoward incident.
The green panel also said that a new path to the shrine exclusively for pedestrians and battery-operated cars will be opened from November 24.
The NGT directed that no horses or mules shall be allowed on the new route to the shrine and these animals shall be removed slowly from the old path as well.
It also directed the authorities to impose an environment compensation of 2,000 rupees on anyone found littering the roads as well as the bus stop at the nearby Katra town.
The NGT bench headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar made it clear that if the number of pilgrims exceeds the prescribed cap, they will be stopped at Ardhkuwari or Katra town, considering that the Vaishno Devi Bhawan structure cannot accommodate more than 50,000 persons.
The directions came while NGT was hearing a plea filed by activist Gauri Maulekhi seeking to remove horses and mules from the path to the shrine, saying it was dangerous for the pedestrians, especially the senior citizens.