India

PM Modi lays foundation stone of Char Dham project

27 Dec 2016 | By Vijaya
Char Dham Highway Development Project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Char Dham highway development project in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

Ahead of the launch, in a series of tweets PM Modi said that the "project will give a strong boost to connectivity and tourism. Further, the addition of bypasses, tunnels, bridges and flyovers will ease travel and proper slope stabilization ensures protection against landslides."

In context: Char Dham Highway Development Project

The Char Dham Yatra

Char Dham Yatra is a pilgrimage to four religious sites of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, located in Uttarakhand. The highway network along Char Dham was severely damaged following the disastrous 2013 Uttarakhand floods. This also caused a decrease in number of tourists ever since.

SummaryThe Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna

Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna or the Char Dham Highway Development Project was first announced by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in Jan 2015.

It is an initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage shrines.

The project aims to develop around 900 km of National Highways in Uttarakhand at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crore.

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Project to be completed by 2018

27 Dec 2016Project to be completed by 2018

The Char Dham project involves widening the existing, geometrically deficient highway that connects the four shrines.

Apart from widening, the project includes, "improving the stretches to 2-lane carriageway with paved shoulders, protect landslide hazard zones, construct bypasses, long bridges, tunnels and elevated corridors to ensure user safety."

According to Nitin Gadkari, "the entire project is likely to be completed by 2018".

Strategic importance of the project

The roads leading to Gangotri and Badrinath have a strategic importance as they are used for supply and deployment to the defence establishments situated along the Indo-China border areas in Uttarakhand.

27 Dec 2016Which highways fall under the project?

Of the Rs.12,000 crore development cost, Rs.3000 crore projects have already been "sanctioned and tendered".

7 stretches in Uttarakhand that will be revamped through the project are - Rishikesh-Rudraprayag (NH-58), Rudraprayag-Mana Village (NH-58), Rishikesh-Dharasu (NH-94), Dharasu-Yamunotri (NH-94), Dharasu-Gangotri (NH-108), Rudraprayag-Gaurikund (NH-109) and Tanakpur-Pithoragarh (NH-125).

Experts have been appointed to identify landslide-prone zones and environment-friendly techniques are being incorporated to make these zones safer.

27 Dec 2016PM Modi lays foundation stone of Char Dham project