The National Green Tribunal has restricted the number of devotees allowed to visit the Vaishno Devi Mandir to 50,000 at a time. Others are advised to wait at Ardhukumari or Katra. The NGT has also stayed the construction of other structures in the shrine complex. The reason for such decision is unknown yet, but it could have been made for a variety of reasons, such as overcrowding in the area, the garbage overflow, accidents or other incidents that could prevent a smooth flow of devotees to the shrine. Another reason for the restriction maybe because of the fear of terrorist attacks on the area, the people and the temple.
Vaishno Devi attracts devotees from all the corners of the earth, and earlier this year, 1 lakh people had come to Jammu Kashmire, and Vaishno Devi for one look at the shrine and to pray before it. There was also an attack on Tral district, that left 2 dead and 50 injured, but it didn’t scare the devotees, and the number only went down to 27 thousand.
Because the reasoning for this decision has not been shared with public and the media, we can only speculate that it was made for the security of the devotees and will benefit us in the long run.