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With green ministry go ahead to six proposals, Chardham road on track now

More than 30,000 trees have to be felled for the project, worth ₹11,700 crore, which is expected to be completed by March 2019. According to the plan, seven new roads, 15 bridges, 101 small bridges, 5,596 culverts and 12 bypasses will be constructed under the project.

dehradun Updated: Oct 16, 2017 20:35 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Chardham,All-weather road,Gangotri
All weather road to Chardham is one of the dream projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(HT File)

Of the 39 proposals for all-weather road to Char Dhams awaiting forest clearance from the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC), the ministry has given final approval to six and in-principle approval to 17, while 16 proposals are still under process.

“Six proposals have been cleared and now the officiating agency for construction (of roads) will have to start work,” Vinod Singhal, nodal officer, forest clearance, told Hindustan Times.

About the forest clearance to remaining projects, RK Mahajan, the principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) and head of forest force, is likely to meet the concerned officers on Tuesday. “We are working actively at our end to ensure speedy clearance,” said Mahajan.

Connecting all four Hindu shrines — Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath — is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project. He had laid foundation stone for the project in Dehradun on December 27.

More than 30,000 trees have to be felled for the project, worth ₹11,700 crore, which is expected to be completed by March 2019. According to the plan, seven new roads, 15 bridges, 101 small bridges, 5,596 culverts and 12 bypasses will be constructed under the project.

About 7,000 trees will be cut to widen the road in Rudraprayag alone, followed by 217 in Pauri, 5,000 in Badrinath and 19,000 in Narendra Nagar. Divisions of Gangotri, Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Dehradun, Pithoragarh and Tehri will also face similar activity.

“We already have existing roads and about 2-metre shoulder on both sides at almost all places. To widen these roads a bit, there’s a need to cut the trees,” said Singhal.

All-Weather Road promises better connectivity for the pilgrims visiting Char Dhams from various parts of the country, especially after the 2013 disaster caused major damage to the tourism sector, particularly in Kedarnath and Badrinath.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 20:35 IST