Supreme Court allows double lane for Chardham road project in view of security concerns [14.12.2021]

14.12.2021 (Tuesday)

Supreme Court today allowed the Central government to construct three double-lane strategic highways for the Char Dham road project in Uttarakhand.

Supreme Court also constitutes a committee to be led by former Supreme Court judge AK Sikri to ensure all remedial measures are taken in the interest of the environment and recommendations of the committee are implemented while going ahead with the project.

The oversight committee shall receive all support from the Defence Ministry, Ministry of Road Transport, Uttarakhand Government and all district magistrates.

Trying to allay the concerns of landslides in Himalayan regions due to the construction of the wider Chardham highway project, the government said all necessary steps have been taken to mitigate the disaster and added that landslides have happened in various parts of the country and not specifically due to road construction.

The Centre had earlier told the Supreme Court that if the Army cannot move its missile launchers, heavy machinery upto the northern Indo-China border, then how will it defend it and fight a war, if it breaks out.

The court was hearing the Centre's plea seeking modification of the September 8, 2020 order, which had asked the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to follow the 2018 circular stipulating carriageway width of 5.5 metre on the ambitious Chardham highway project, which goes up to the border with China.

In its application, the MoD had said it seeks modification of the order and directions that the national highways from Rishikesh to Mana, from Rishikesh to Gangotri, and from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh may be developed to two-lane configuration.

14 Dec 2021