Char Dham Project delayed due to SC & NGT litigation, Environment Min clearance: Gadkari

New Delhi: The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari said yesterday that an amount of Rs. 1850 crore is likely to be spent on the Char Dham Project in the current financial year. The Char Dham Project was initially targeted for completion by March, 2020. However, the schedule date of completion of the project has been delayed mainly due to litigation in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and further Civil Appeal by the petitioner in the Supreme Court.

Further, the section from Dharasu bend to Gangotri (94 km) lies under Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone on which work can be taken up only after the approval of Master Plan by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

The Supreme Court vide order dated 8 August 2019 has disposed of the Civil Appeal and constituted a High Power Committee (HPC) to look into the environmental and other issues related to the Char Dham Project as per the terms of reference set by the Supreme Court. The HPC has been mandated to submit its report within 4 months from the date of the order.

The date of completion of the Project depends on the report of the HPC and approval of Master Plan for Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone by MoEF&CC.

The projects under Char Dham Project include widening of existing roads, along with adequate/sufficient slope protection by way of erection of retaining walls and breast walls and by deploying drapery system, netting, anchoring, reinforced wall etc. as per Detailed Project Reports.

The projects also include mitigation measures/stabilisation of chronic landslide & sinking spots as standalone projects or part of road widening projects to avoid land slide and maintain safety of road users.

Bio engineering methods like hydro seeding are being used for vegetative growth on fragile slopes for their stability. All these measures shall safeguard the highway and habitation against natural calamity.

The works under Char Dham Pariyojna are being implemented on Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode of contract. These projects are being implemented by 3 executing agencies of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, viz, Uttarakhand State PWD, Border Road Organization (BRO) and National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL).

For each project, a Supervision Consultant called Authority’s Engineer comprising of a team of Key Experts has been appointed for day-to-day supervision and monitoring of the construction works, which includes monitoring of quality control of the works as required under the contract agreement.

This Supervision Consultant reports directly to the concerned executing agencies in respect of day to day progress and various other aspects of the project. Regular monitoring of progress of the work is done at the level of concerned executing agencies and also at Ministry’s level.

Further, under this EPC mode of contract, the contractor is directly responsible for ensuring the quality of work as well as rectification of defects and maintenance of the project stretch for a period of 4 years after completion of construction.

This information was given by Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari in a written reply in Lok Sabha on 28 November.

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The ID Staff

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