Jammu: A division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court passed temporary suspension orders over the state government’s proposal for mining 12,40000 tonne per annum of high-grade magnesium deposit in Trikuta hills near Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.

The court issued notices to the Centre and the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board seeking their reply on the matter within two weeks.

In November 2011, the Centre had also given nod for setting up of a magnesium plant in the state.

The PIL filed by lawyers Dewaker Sharma and Vilakshan Singh stated that ongoing mining work would not only cause disaster to the ecology and environment of the area, it would be against the law of the state also.

The area is in the vicinity of the shrine board and attracts millions of pilgrims every year.

The petitioners also alleged that no expert opinion was ever sought by the shrine board regarding the impact of mining on the shrine including the flora and fauna of the hill.