The Narendra Modi government’s ambitious plan to connect the Char Dham pilgrimage spots in Uttarakhand by all-weather highways was put under a question mark. The Supreme Court (SC) sought the Centre’s response on why it should not stay the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) clearance to the project.
The proposed four-lane expressway to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath in the hill state has been among the flagship projects of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Expanding the national highway network itself has been a key thrust area for the current regime.
But the idea of the 900-kilometer road network in the sensitive mountains of Uttarakhand drew skepticism from environmental activists who fear the highways and the tourists they would bring in will be at the cost of the ecological balance.
About Chardham project:
The project involves developing and widening 900-km of national highways connecting the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of; Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crores.
The highway will be called Char Dham Mahamarg(Char Dham Highway) and the highway construction project will be called as Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana (Char Dham Highway Development Project).
The roads will be widened from 12m to 24m and the project will involve the construction of tunnels, bypasses, bridges, subways, and viaducts.