The Union government on Monday (May 28) asked the Supreme Court to take up the issue of the livelihood of the Bakrewals urgently. The Centre wants the Bakerwals – who used to provide the mules which pilgrims took to go to Vaishno Devi – to either get their livelihood back or be rehabilitated.
The case, which was on at the top court was also, incidentally taken up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The Centre has asked the top court to not allow the NGT to hear the case simultaneously.
The top court has fixed Wednesday (May 30) as the date of hearing.
Earlier, the apex court had stopped the use of horses and mules for carrying the pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine and had also directed the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to disburse Rs 2 crore for the rehabilitation of Bakerwal community. But the Board had refused to disburse the amount.
—India Legal Bureau