Char Dham Project

Char Dham National Highway construction project (commonly called as Chardham Project) is an “under construction” project in the state of Uttarakhand. The project was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27th December 2016.

Key Points

  • The Char Dham project aims to provide the 4 lane expressway connectivity between the four holy places of India- Char Dhams– namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunothri, and Gangothri.
  • The project comprises around 900 km of road and civil construction that would cover the entire state of Uttarakhand.
  • The estimated cost of the project is Rs.12,000 crore and the construction commenced in 2016.
  • The project is seen as a milestone step to boost spiritual tourism in India. On the other hand, it has been criticized by many environmentalists on the grounds of causing damage to the Himalayan ecosystem.

Environmentalists allege violations in the Char Dham project

The Supreme Court of India has said that its orders of making appropriate width roads in the mountainous terrain are not being followed. The court has highlighted that the environmentalists have alleged that the contractors making roads in the Char Dham project are violating the standard norms.

However, the coordinator of the Char Dham project, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has denied any such violations in the construction of the roads under the project. The ministry submitted an affidavit in the court on the progress of the project.

The decision on the width of the roads was made by the High-level committee set by the Supreme Court under the leadership of Ravi Chopra who is the former Director of the People’s Science Institute.

FASTag Mandatory

Recently the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has made FASTag mandatory for all four-wheelers. It will be applicable from January 1, 2021.

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