Supreme Court to hear plea on Char Dham Highway project on May 14

The Supreme Court on Friday will hear the plea concerning the Rs 12,000-crore, 899-km-long Char Dham highway project which connects four shrines of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath in Garhwal Himalayas. Attorney General KK Venugopal apprised the Court that the roads have to be constructed at a width of 7 meter or so. Justice Nariman Bench had allowed for 5.5 Meter but the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways amended it saying that the roads are being used for different purposes, going right up to the Chinese borders. The project is under the Supreme Court’s scanner after an NGO, Citizens for Green Doon, raised environmental concerns over the cutting of trees and harm to the fragile Himalayan ecology by the widening of the existing mountain roads. The high-powered committee was formed to be the eyes and ears of the Supreme Court on the project. According to the Ministry, 21 out of 26 members of the court-appointed High Powered Committee (HPC) have said that there should be a broad road to facilitate movement of military forces along the Indo-China border and ensure availability of better facilities for the locals.

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