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Amarnath Yatra: NGT appoints panel for eco-protection

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday appointed a committee to look at environment protection during the annual Amarnath Yatra, a pilgrimage to a shrine in the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir.

The committee will also look into the infrastructure for pilgrims at the Amarnath Shrine.

Asking why extra shops and open toilets were not removed, the green court suggested construction of eco-friendly toilets on the route.

An Additional Secretary from the Environment Ministry will head the committee which will have officials from the Jammu and Kashmir government and Army officers.

The NGT also suggested that the area around the Amarnath Shrine cave should be declared a “silence zone” to prevent avalanches and asked to put a stop to throwing food offerings and coconuts near and inside the cave.

The tribunal also suggested replacing the iron rods installed inside the Amarnath cave with security personnel so that pilgrims can get a better view of the shrine.

The Yatra is usually undertaken between July and August.

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