Amarnath shrine board seeks preservation tips from environmentalists

February 24th, 2009 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Amarnath ShrineJammu, Feb 24 (IANS) The Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has invited a team of environmentalists to suggest measures to protect the shrine in southern Kashmir and the area around it, officials said Tuesday.
Environmentalists associated with Himalayan ecology have been requested by a panel constituted by the shrine board to make a detailed study of the environmental aspects and accordingly suggest ways to protect the area’s ecology. The panel is headed by leading environmentalist Sunita Narain.

Governor N.N. Vohra, who is also SASB chairman, is keen on preserving the ecology of the area in south Kashmir where the shrine is located and has sought the cooperation of the state government in this regard, shrine board officials said.

The Amarnath shrine is devoted to Lord Shiva and is located at a height of 13,500 feet above sea level.

An SASB official told IANS that the board is looking for ways and means to protect the the environment as the glaciers in the area are crucial for water in the Valley.

One of the steps SASB may take is to ban the use of polythene bags and plastic bottles by pilgrims visiting the shrine, officials said.

Last year 500,000 pilgrims had visited the cave shrine, located vearly 150 km from the summer capital of Srinagar.

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