SC takes grim view of human, animal waste being dumped near Vaishno Devi shrine

Recognising the blackening of waters near the Vaishno Devi shrine as a ‘serious problem’, the Supreme Court on Monday asked Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and J&K government to file a reply on the status of rehabilitation plan of horses and mules.

The top court was hearing a petition which has alleged that the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has not done anything to prevent the pollution caused by horses, mules and pilgrims. It has, apparently, also resulted in blackening of waters near the holy shrine. The petition goes on to accuse authorities of ‘making money at the cost of the environment.’

While the Centre has said that a rehabilitation plan for mule drivers was made, it was meant to be taken up a sub-committee of the state government’s cabinet. Since there is no elected government in J&K currently – due to the break in PDP-BJP alliance – the matter is stalled.

The apex court will now hear the matter next month.