New Delhi: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has completed the widening of the 410 km stretch of Chardham Road project to 10 meters, which is about 65% of the 642 km of works so far. The cutting of the hill has been completed at a distance of 537 km to build such a uniform road in the network.
Government sources now follow the Supreme Court directive, and the court-appointed high-powered committee (HPC) looks into the submission of the defense and road transport ministries to maintain a uniform two-lane (7-meter) width of the entire corridor. Consider the safety requirements and safety of road users.
HPC, led by environmentalist Ravi Chopra, has split vertically in terms of road width, and two separate reports were submitted by member groups in June this year. While most members supported the government’s argument for widening the road to 10 meters, a minority member recommended that the road width be no more than 5.5 meters, also known as the median lane.
Minority members were quoted by the Ministry of Road Transport’s 2018 circular as saying that road width in the hills should not exceed 5.5 meters. Members had alleged that the ministry had not disclosed the circular when it came to the issue of road widening.
“The Supreme Court’s last order cannot cut down trees. We strictly follow the court order, ”said a central government official.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Road Transport has told the Supreme Court that the March 2018 circular of road width in the hilly areas is based on PUC traffic and is “normal and applicable” to all hilly states.
“It does not bear in mind the strategic need for the movement of military vehicles with the heavy equipment that leads to the international boundaries, the actual line of control and the economic corridor in the Himalayan region,” the affidavit said.
The Border Roads Organization (BRO) said that some strategic roads were being maintained by the Border Roads before the Chardham road project began. “In the 2018 circular, the strategic importance of the Uttarakhand Himalayan region and the road / highways in the region from the point of view of safety and security is not considered. “Therefore, when formulating the Chardham Plan, the above circular does not apply to the particular parojna,” the ministry said in its affidavit.

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