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What is Uttarakhand’s Char Dham Act?

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 07, Dec 2021
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Reference News:

Uttarakhand government has announced the withdrawal of the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act. The decision will lead to the abolition of Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board, which has been facing protests from priests and other stakeholders of four shrines and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Environmental Concerns About the Project:

  • The project may destroy about 690 hectares of forests with 55,000 trees and evacuate an estimated 20 million cubic metres of soil.
  • Ruthless harvesting or uprooting of vegetation in the widening of roads can prove to be perilous for the biodiversity and regional ecology.

What is Chardham Project?

  • The project comprises improvement as well as the development of 889 km length of national highways.
  • The project will connect Badrinath Dham, Kedarnath Dham, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and part of the route leading to Kailash Mansarovar yatra.

Role in National Security:

This project can act as the strategic feeder roads which connect the India-China border with the Army camps in Dehradun and Meerut where missile bases and heavy machinery are located.

Supreme Court views on the project:

Supreme Court (SC), in November 2020, had spoken of the need to balance national security concerns with environmental issues in the context of the Army’s request to expand the CharDham Project (CDP) roads leading to the Indo-China border.