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PM to review Chardham road projects on May 23

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will review the ₹11,700-crore Chardham all-weather road project through high resolution drone cameras on May 23, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said Friday.

dehradun Updated: May 19, 2018 22:29 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand news,Chardham all-weather road project,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Work on the Chardham all-weather road project in progress. (HT Photo. )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will review the ₹ 11,700-crore Chardham all weather road project through high resolution drone cameras on May 23, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said Friday.

This is for the first time that Modi will review the Chardham all-weather road project, the foundation stone of which he laid on December 27, just months before the 2017 assembly polls.

Chairing a videoconference with officials at the secretariat, Rawat asked them to speed up the implementation of the project, stating that it was on the priority list of the BJP governments both at the Centre and in the state. At the meeting he also reviewed the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh National Highway project.

Chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh told HT that all works relating to the Chardham all-weather road project are being carried out strictly as per the timelines fixed in advance.

“We also reviewed various works relating to the project like hill cutting or putting up retaining walls among others,” he said adding all those works are being carried out as per the deadline and some of those works will be completed five-six months before deadline.

“The Centre wants us to ensure that the project is implemented within a shortest possible timeframe in keeping with the quality specifications and also in view of the ecological and environmental sensitivity of the mountain region,” Singh said when asked about reports that the Centre has fixed 2019 as the deadline for the completion of the road infrastructure scheme.

He said completing the project will take “a certain time” as it is being implemented in a mountainous terrain.

Singh said the entire official machinery has been deployed to ensure the timely completion of the project, which “will pave the way for an exponential economic growth” in the mountain state.

“Not only will it give a boost to the state’s tourism based economy but once it is completed, it will also facilitate marketing of perishable horticultural and agricultural produce giving a fillip to the small and marginalised farmers’ income”, Singh said referring to the Chardham all-weather road project.

According to him, once the project is ready, famers even in the remotest hill areas will be able to have their farm produce transported within a short time to big markets available in adjoining areas of western Uttar Pradesh, the National Capital Region (NCR) besides Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

The network of wide roads and highways “will also be a strong motivation for investors to set up their industrial units in hilly areas where it takes eight to 10 hours’ time to reach by road.”

For tourists especially, said the top official, the scenic spots dotting the central Himalayan region would be easily approachable following the widening of roads. “It will also vastly reduce hours of journey, which will fit in tourists’ holiday schedules as they don’t have much time on their hands these days owing to professional reasons,” he said.

“Besides, a network of wide roads in a border state like Uttarakhand would also help fulfil our defence requirements, which will be beneficial for the country as a whole.”

In the videoconference, however, the chief minister directed officials to be ready with detailed information pertaining to the ‘Chardham all-weather road project on May 23 when the PM would review it from his office in New Delhi through the high resolution Drone cameras.

Officials were also directed to “finalise” all works relating to land acquisition, forest land transfer, compensation assessment and its disbursement.

First Published: May 19, 2018 22:29 IST