The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has completed the construction of road to the famous Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir. The BRO has termed the completion of road as historic and drove its first set of vehicles to the shrine at an altitude of 13000 feet in Kashmiri Himalayas.
The project, however, has received criticism by several Kashmiri Pandits who fear adverse impact of the road on cave shrine and fragile ecology of the area.
The BRO put out a video of its trucks moving through newly constructed Baltal-Cave shrine road on X, formerly Twitter.
@BROindia Project Beacon is involved in restoration and improvement of Amarnath Yatra tracks.
Border Roads personnel completed the formidable task and created history with first set of vehicles reaching the holy cave.
— 𝐁𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐑𝐨𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐎𝐫𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 (@BROindia) November 2, 2023
According to BRO, the Project Beacon was tasked with the restoration and improvement of Amarnath Yatra tracks. After completion of the road, the BRO says that successful transportation of vehicles “marks a significant achievement for the BRO, as they aimed to reach the site before the onset of snowfall”.
Several people have, however, criticised the move. Rahul Pandita, an author has expressed concern and termed the road to the holy cave a “disastrous move”.
“This is a disastrous move. The cave is under tremendous pressure already. The ice Shivling will disappear, do not do this.,” Mr Pandita posted on X.
This is a disastrous move. The cave is under tremendous pressure already. The ice Shivling will disappear, do not do this. https://t.co/dj2DSxFD1I
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) November 6, 2023
Mohit Bhan, a politician from Kashmir termed the road to cave shrine a “crime against Hinduism and faith in nature”. He alleges that it is an attempt to turn spiritual places into picnic spots for political gains and warns a catastrophe like Joshimath in Uttarakhand due to uncontrolled construction.
This is not history it’s the biggest crime one can commit to Hinduism & it’s faith in nature. Hinduism is all about immersing in spritual mother nature , that’s why our pilgrimages are in lap of Himalayas. Turning religious piligrimages into picnic spots for mere political gains… https://t.co/23z3DL3SnM
— Mohit Bhan موہت بھان (@buttkout) November 6, 2023
Tapesh Kaul, another Kashmiri pandit, also expressed concern adn said this road construction is turning spiritual destinations into concrete jungle and tourist places.
“I am really surprised how these peaceful spiritual, divine places are being slowly converted into concrete jungles from what it used to be a peaceful spiritual destination in the epicenter of nature,” Mr Kaul said. “It’s so disheartening to see that our main religion shrines are being slowly transformed into some sort of tourist destinations,” he said.
The BRO has said that the road widening has been completed for nearly 13 kilometer’s from the Sangam base to the cave shrine.
Early this year, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced the construction of 110 km-long Amarnath Marg leading to the holy Amarnath cave shrine in Pahalgam at a cost of approximately Rs 5,300 crore to enhance convenience of pilgrims.