Supreme Court asks J&K govt to phase out Vaishno Devi mules

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Jammu: The Supreme Court today asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to prepare a plan as to how it would phase out mules used for carrying pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine and rehabilitate mule owners. The apex court has asked all stakeholders in the matter to submit their plan to the SC in four weeks.
At least 4,000 mules are engaged to assist pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine. The petitioner asked the SC to direct the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to decide how many pilgrims visit the holy place to ease the pressure there. The SC denied to limit the number of devotees arriving at the Vaishno Devi temple. “Pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi out of their own beliefs and not because the board calls them,” the SC observed.
The apex court, however, said that the J&K government must draw an alternative plan to assist the pilgrims, eventually phasing out the use of mules.
The SC suggested phasing out ten per cent of the mules each year as they cannot be wholly removed overnight.Mule_vaishno_devi.jpeg

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