Char Dham: PM Narendra Modi’s pet project set to cross forest-clearance hurdle

By Times Of India on 15 Oct 2017
DEHRADUN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project — the Rs 11,700 crore Char Dham road — has almost crossed its first hurdle with 80% forest clearance and 60% land acquisition completed.

The 889-km all-weather road project that was inaugurated by the PM last year will connect the four Himalayan shrines of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.

The project, envisaged with an idea of having dependable national highways connecting the Char Dhams in Gharwal region, is a pre-poll promise of the ruling BJP in the state and work here is going on a priority basis ahead of PM's visit to the state next week.

Chief secretary S Ramaswamy and additional chief secretary Om Prakash are holding weekly meetings to review the progress of the ambitious project. Sources said that forest clearances for broadening of most roads have been received and efforts are on to complete them at the earliest. "The chief secretary asked the authorities to get all forest clearances by October 26 as this will speed up the entire project," an official said.

As part of the project, tunnels would be constructed in Chamba and Radi Top and on the entire stretch, with 15 big bridges, 101 small bridges, 3,596 culverts and 12 by-passes, will be constructed.

Revenue secretary Harbans Singh Chugh said, "There are different stages of land acquisition such as survey, notification and compensation. We have made good progress and are trying to complete the acquisition process at the earliest."

TOI had earlier reported that at least 33,000 trees will be axed to make way for the ambitious plan for which around 534 hectares were being acquired.