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Despite the Opposition of Usual Suspects, the Apex Court Clears India’s One of the Most Ambitious Char Dham Project

Char Dham Project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana on December 27, 2016. This is seen as one of the biggest highway construction projects ever in a hilly state of India and an engineering marvel as the highways are to be rolled out in one of the most difficult geographical terrains of India.

What is Char Dham Project?

The project involves construction of 900 km of national highways in the state of Uttarakhand which will also connect the Char Dham (shrines) of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The project is going to cost Rs. 12000 crores to the public exchequer. The 10-meter-wide highways will be two-laned with paved shoulder.

Char Dham Project                                                               Source: Google Images      

Here is a video which explains this project.

Source: YouTube

Legal Challenge to the Project Dissolved
  • The Char Dham Project was reportedly challenged in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by an NGO ‘Citizens for Green Doon’ among others and the petitioners were represented by Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Parikh who has also reportedly represented the NGO Greenpeace which has now been banned in India.
  • In September 2018, NGT disposing the pleas of petitioners approved the project in larger public interest and constituted an expert committee that will monitor the environmental concerns related to the project.
  • However, NGT’s order was stayed by the Supreme Court in October 2018.
  • After hearing both the sides, Supreme Court approved the Char Dham Project clearing the way for India’s one of the most ambitious and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project which will not only boost tourism in the state of Uttarakhand but also result in regional development.