Keeping in view the Supreme Court ruling of 2012 regarding the health of the Amarnath yatra pilgrims, the ban on the sale of cold drinks and junk food enroute the cave shrine will be strictly enforced from this year by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.
"There was a Supreme Court ruling in this regard in 2012, so the decision was taken to completely ban the sale and consumption of cold drinks and junk food enroute the cave shrine," Pankaj Anand, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, SASB, told PTI.
An experts' committee, formed following the Supreme Court's concern over the large number of pilgrim deaths in 2012, had cautioned the consumption of cold drinks and fried junk food as there is shortage of oxygen enroute the cave shrine.
"Health experts say that it becomes difficult to digest such food items in the absence of adequate oxygen supply which gives rise to breathing problems hence make yatra difficult for the pilgrims," Anand said.
The decision of banning these food items was in place in 2013 and 2014 also but it would be strictly enforced from this year. The SASB has also asked the langer organisers to desist from distributing fried food items and cold drinks as they are not good for health in low oxygen conditions.
It has instructed the organisers to display the menu of the food items being prepared and distributed by them to the pilgrims, he said. The shrine board authorities will take stringent action against those who violate the orders.
"In the past also action was taken and those who are found violating these orders would be blacklisted in future," he said.