NEW DELHI, Aug 13: The Supreme Court Monday asked Jammu and Kashmir government to finish construction of roads and widening of passage to the Amarnath shrine before snowfall.
The court also directed a committee appointed by it to submit a report in 3 weeks on how to prevent growing number of casualties of Amarnath pilgrims.
A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar expressed displeasure over the failure of the committee to submit the report by August 10 and granted three more weeks but made it clear that no further extension would be given.
The apex court had on July 20 set up the committee to recommend measures to prevent the growing number of casualties among Amarnath pilgrims saying it has become a regular feature.
The court had passed the order after taking suo motu note of media reports of pilgrims’ deaths allegedly due to lack of proper facilities and medical care for them.
The committee comprises secretaries of various departments, including those from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, the Home Affairs, the Health and Child Welfare, besides the Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary.
The court had asked the committee to visit the shrine and give the report to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) responsible for holding the annual Amarnath pilgrimage.
The apex court had also ordered that the committee would include Director General of state police, paramilitary forces CRPF and BSF and the Border Road Organisation, besides the CEO of Sri Amarnath Shrine Board and an environmentalist to be nominated by J & K Governor.