Amarnath Yatra: SC Modifies Guidelines Regarding Amenities

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has modified its order in which it had passed a slew of guidelines for the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir Government to ensure proper healthcare and other amenities for Amarnath yatra pilgrims.

An apex court bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan, which modified the order yesterday, said the registration of pilgrims will be done only in Jammu and Srinagar. The apex court's earlier order had allowed registration also in Baltal and Panchtarni.

The apex court also modified its order that the gap between iron grills, installed near the cave should not be less than 12 inches, and said it is for the Special High Power Committee (SHPC) appointed by it to take a decision on the issue.

Directing the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir Government to ensure proper facilities to Amarnath pilgrims, the apex court had earlier on December 13 last year said it is the government's constitutional obligation to provide basic facilities to pilgrims who visit religious places.

Observing that arrangements for the pilgrims near the holy shrine are 'pathetic', the apex court had then issued a slew of directions to the governments and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for widening the walking tracks to the holy cave, which may be covered by pre-fabricated tiles.

The court had then passed the order after taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on pilgrims' deaths allegedly due to lack of proper facilities and medical care for them.

The apex court had earlier appointed a Special High Powered Committee to recommend measures to be taken to curb the growing number of casualties of Amarnath pilgrims. 

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