SC sets up panel,asks for report by Aug 13

Against the last year’s toll of 105,this year 86 persons have already died during the pilgrimage that started on June 25. It will end on August 2.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | Published:July 21, 2012 1:12 am

Upset over spurt in number of deaths of the pilgrims to the Amarnath shrine due to lack of facilities,the Supreme Court on Friday said “basic and fundamental rights of the citizens of this country are at stake”. The apex court set up a high-powered committee to suggest measures “for protecting the interest of the yatris (pilgrims),ensuring proper management and health care.”

Against the last year’s toll of 105,this year 86 persons have already died during the pilgrimage that started on June 25. It will end on August 2.

“Lack of public amenities,facilities,health care,particularly the high rate of mortality,which has been highlighted in the various press cuttings and in our order dated July 13,2012,requires attention of all concerned,” noted a Bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar while constituting the committee to be headed by the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

The committee will also comprise secretaries concerned from Home Affairs,Environment and Health ministries,besides Amarnath Shrine Board’s representative,environmentalist and chiefs of the J&K Police,CRPF,BSF and Border Roads Organisation.

The chief secretary of the J&K government has been appointed as the nodal officer to convene the meeting,prepare minutes and present the final report by August 13.

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