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Omar Abdullah questions construction of motorable road up to Amarnath shrine, says playing with environment

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah raised 'environment' concerns over the construction of motorable road up to Amarnath shrine. He said the project would hurt the environment around the holy shrine.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Srinagar Published on: November 07, 2023 21:54 IST
NC leader Omar Abdullah
Image Source : PTI/FILE NC leader Omar Abdullah

National Conference (NC) leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday criticised the decision to construct a motorable road up to the Amarnath cave shrine asserting playing with the environment in such a way was not good as it was akin to destroying it.

Questioning the project, the NC leader said the annual pilgrimage to the shrine has been going on for years and there was no need to take vehicles there.

"To provide some ease is one thing, but there is a dire need to have a relook at the matter. Taking vehicles to such places is akin to destroying them. Since the yatra has started, people from here have carried the yatris on their shoulders and will continue to do so. Playing with our environment in such a way is not good," Abdullah told reporters here.

It has become usual to face some difficulties during the yatra. 

"When we go for Haj, do we undertake Tawaf in a vehicle? No, we do that on foot. People visit Mata Vaishno Devi shrine for darshan and many go on foot and do not use vehicles, etc.," he said.

Vehicles reach the shrine now after the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) completed the widening of the road from Dumail to the Amarnath cave via Baltal base camp in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.

"Courts have given many rulings to save greenbelts. There is no permission to construct anything on the banks of the Dal Lake.

Those living in the interiors of the lake are not even allowed to renovate their houses.

"There is no permission to renovate hotels in Pahalgam. Work has been stopped in Gulmarg and Sonamarg because of the (concerns of) environment. If Dal, Pahalgam, Gulmarg or Sonamarg has to be protected, then is it not our responsibility to protect the environment near the Amarnath cave,” he asked.
(With PTI inputs)

Also read: Telangana elections: PM Modi shares dais with Pawan Kalyan, says Congress is 'C' team of BRS

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