No plans to construct motorable road to Amarnath shrine: Kashmir


Srinagar : The Jammu and Kashmir government has no plans to construct a motorable road to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath, a minister said Sunday.

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Addressing a media conference here, state Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather also sought to dispel the impression that the Supreme Court had passed any directions asking the state government to construct a motorable road up to the shrine.

“The pilgrims will continue to move up to the shrine on foot and by using ponies as they have been doing in the past. There are no directions from the Supreme Court asking the state government to construct a motorable road up to the shrine, he said.

Health Minister Sham Lal was also present with Rather at the press meet.

Earlier Sunday, some prominent members of the local civil society including businessmen, journalists, other professionals and senior citizens had opposed the idea of laying a motorable road up to the cave shrine in a signed memorandum.

Separatist leader and chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq had also opposed the idea during his Friday sermon at the Jamia mosque in the old city.

Widespread unrest had marred normal life for months here in 2008 over the allotment of forest land by the state government to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the annual Hindu pilgrimage.

The state government had later cancelled the controversial land allotment.