Union Government to spend Rs. 1850 crore on the Char Dham Programme in the current financial year: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari informed the Lok Sabha that his government would spend Rs 1850 crore on the Char Dham programme in the current financial year. He also said that the project, which was initially targeted to complete by March 2020, has been delayed mainly due to litigation in the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court.
“An amount of Rs. 1850 crore is likely to be spent on the Char Dham Programme in the current financial year. The Char Dham Programme was initially targeted for completion by March, 2020. However, the schedule date of completion of the programme has been delayed mainly due to litigation in the Hon’ble NGT and further Civil Appeal by the petitioner in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Further, the section from Dharasu bend to Gangotri (94km) lies under Bhagirathi Eco- Sensitive Zone on which works can be taken up only after approval of Masterplan by MoEF&CC. The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide order dated 08.08.2019 has disposed of the Civil Appeal and constituted a High Power Committee (HPC) to look into the environmental and other issues related to the Char Dham Programme as per the terms of reference set by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The HPC has been mandated to submit its report within 4 months from the date of the order. The date of completion of the programme depends on the report of the HPC and approval of Masterplan for Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone by MoEF&CC, “ Shri Nitin Gadkari said in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Thursday.
“The projects under Char Dham Programme include widening of existing roads along with adequate/sufficient slope protection by way of erection of retaining walls and breast walls and by deploying drapery system, netting, anchoring, reinforced wall etc. as per Detailed Project Reports. The projects also include mitigation measures/ stabilisation of chronic landslide & sinking spots/zones as standalone project or part of road widening projects to avoid land slide and safety of road users. Bio engineering methods like hydro seeding are being used for vegetative growth on fragile slopes for their stability. All these measures shall safeguard the highway and habitation against natural calamity,” the Union Minister further stated.