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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

PM’s pet all-weather Chardham road project faces Bhagirathi eco zone hurdle

The Uttarakhand government is trying to seek relaxation of restrictions from the Centre on construction of 94 kilometres of the road that comes under the zone

dehradun Updated: Nov 29, 2017 21:14 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
A view of the Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand.
A view of the Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand.(HT photo)

The Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone has put hurdles to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project that promises faster connectivity to Char Dham shrines in Uttarakhand with an all-weather road.

The state government is trying to seek relaxation of restrictions from the Centre on construction of 94 kilometres of the road that comes under the zone, officials said.

Last year, Modi and union minister of transport and highways Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation of the road project that aims to connect Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

Under the Rs 12000-crore project, a 889-km road network will be built in eight districts in the state. The Centre has set a deadline of 2019 for completion of the project.

Though other works are going on swiftly, a big hurdle is to get clearance from the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) to construct the road inside the Bhagirathi valley, officials said. The valley is a part of the eco-sensitive zone notified on December 18, 2012 and covers 4179 sqkm area along a 100-km stretch of the river from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi.

“Other works are going on as and when a detailed project report (DPR) is being submitted. The government is seeking the Centre’s assistance to deal with restrictions on construction in the ESZ,” said Hariom Sharma, chief executive engineer (CEE) of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

Out of 41,139 trees in the 600-hectare forest area that falls on the route, 16,438 have been cut. After conversion of land in the forest area, the government has given Rs 160 crore to owners of private land that has been acquired under the project.

Of the 282.647 hectare earmarked for the project, 70% has been acquired. The land belongs to farmers and locals in the districts, but compensation is provided as per the National Highway Act, 1956, officials said.

“If there’s some land dispute, then the district magistrate is made the arbitrator to resolve the issue,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.

A tunnel, 15 big flyovers, 101 small bridges, 3596 culverts and 12 bypass roads will be reconstructed for smooth transit; 29 landslide-prone zones, which pose blockage to traffic movement, will be made secure.



- 94km of all-weather Char Dham road project falls in Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone

- 889-km road network is to be created across 8 districts

- Of 41,139 trees in 600 hectare forest area, 16,438 trees have been cut for the project

- 282.647 hectare of private land is to acquired; 70% has been possessed and Rs 160 crore distributed

- Compensation to private land owners is paid as per the National Highway Act, 1956

-Land dispute matters to be resolved by district magistrates

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 21:14 IST

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