Gadkari asks Uttarakhand CM to expedite land acquisition, clearances for Chardham Proj

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New Delhi: To fast-track Chardham project, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday urged Uttarakhand chief minister to expedite land acquisition and environment clearances for the crucial plan. Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said approval has been accorded to Zonal Master Plan of Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone to pave the way for faster project execution.

He was speaking in a meeting through video conferencing on Chaardhaam project.

Environment, Forests & Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar also participated in the meeting.

The Chaardham project proposes to provide all-weather connectivity to Yamnotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath, and has 53 projects of 826 km length, involving an investment of Rs 12,000 crore.

Gadkari called for expeditious disposal of all pending issues and for completing land acquisition at the earliest. He emphasised that this project is of great national importance and should be handled from that perspective by all concerned, the road and transport ministry said in a statement.

“He (Gadkari) requested CM Uttarakhand to personally review issues pending at the level of State Government especially those related to environment, land acquisition etc and asked for strict monitoring and cautioned against deliberate delays,” the statement said.

Javadekar stressed upon taking up of project implementation by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways based on the recommendations of High Powered Committee, it said, adding he assured to extend all required cooperation from the ministry for an early completion of projects.

“Javadekar informed that the Zonal Master Plan (ZMP) for the Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone, prepared by the Government of Uttarakhand and appraised by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, has been approved July 16, 2020,” the statement said.

The ZMP is based on watershed approach and includes governance in the area of forest and wildlife, watershed management, irrigation, energy, tourism, public health and sanitation, road infrastructure, etc.

“It was further decided that Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will review the pending issues related to environment and forest clearances with the officials of Ministry of Road Transport and State Government Departments,” the statement said.

It added that Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat assured to personally review and thrash out all issues pertaining to the project pending at the state level, including faster land acquisition.

He requested Gadkari to consider a proposal being worked by the state government for national highway connectivity to Gairsain, the summer capital of Uttarakhand and added that the DPR (detailed project report) is being prepared for the same.

Gadkari assured that the same will be considered expeditiously as soon as it is received in his office.

The review meeting held via video conference was also attended by Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways V K Singh. Union Secretaries of Road Transport & Highways, Environment and Forests, DG Roads (MoRTH) and Director General, Border Roads Organisation besides senior officers of the Centre and Uttarakhand.

Gadkari has recently lauded the BRO for constructing a 440-metre long tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road and termed it as an ‘extraordinary feat’ in nation-building during the pandemic.

The BRO successfully dug up the tunnel below the Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road, National Highway No 94, which will facilitate all-weather connectivity to Chardham.

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