Supreme Court allows widening of three hill stretches in Uttarakhand
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Supreme Court allows widening of three hill stretches in Uttarakhand

The Supreme Court has allowed the widening of the three hill stretches in Uttarakhand, including Rishikesh to Mana, Rishikesh to Gangotri, and Tanakpur to Pithoragarh, which forms a part of Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna.

The road widening will be a Double Line-Paved Shoulder (DL-PS), having a 10 m width as suggested by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

The Bench has modified the court's order to stick to the 2018 circular on the width of the roads. The 2018 circular suggests a width of 5.5 m for the carriageway.

The Bench members said that MoRTH and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) could proceed with the execution of the project, subject to the condition that it addressed all environmental concerns flagged by the High Powered Committee (HPC). It has set up an Oversight Committee to oversee the implementation of the HPC's suggestions.

The 2020 circular was issued by MoRTH with the recommendations of MoD. The court is required to oversee the modalities decided upon by the Army and the MoD to safeguard the security of India's borders and interrogate the policy entrusted by the law with the defense of the nation.

The central government has moved the court, saying that there has been a material change in the circumstances, necessitating an improvement of roads to enable the movement of troops and equipment to the army station on the India-China border.

The 2012 and 2018 circulars of MoRTH do not address the issue of the strategic border roads. The construction of a highway on the strategic roads for defense used by the Armed Forces cannot be the same as other roads in hilly and mountain regions. These roads require environmental considerations, especially in the areas of the strategic border for the security of the nation.

As per the judgment, HPC members might disagree on road widening. They agreed on other environmental issues in which the road project was implemented by MoRTH.

The Bench said that benefits to the armed forces are crucial, but environmental health is also an important factor for all the individuals residing in that area.

Image Source

The Supreme Court has allowed the widening of the three hill stretches in Uttarakhand, including Rishikesh to Mana, Rishikesh to Gangotri, and Tanakpur to Pithoragarh, which forms a part of Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna. The road widening will be a Double Line-Paved Shoulder (DL-PS), having a 10 m width as suggested by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). The Bench has modified the court's order to stick to the 2018 circular on the width of the roads. The 2018 circular suggests a width of 5.5 m for the carriageway. The Bench members said that MoRTH and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) could proceed with the execution of the project, subject to the condition that it addressed all environmental concerns flagged by the High Powered Committee (HPC). It has set up an Oversight Committee to oversee the implementation of the HPC's suggestions. The 2020 circular was issued by MoRTH with the recommendations of MoD. The court is required to oversee the modalities decided upon by the Army and the MoD to safeguard the security of India's borders and interrogate the policy entrusted by the law with the defense of the nation. The central government has moved the court, saying that there has been a material change in the circumstances, necessitating an improvement of roads to enable the movement of troops and equipment to the army station on the India-China border. The 2012 and 2018 circulars of MoRTH do not address the issue of the strategic border roads. The construction of a highway on the strategic roads for defense used by the Armed Forces cannot be the same as other roads in hilly and mountain regions. These roads require environmental considerations, especially in the areas of the strategic border for the security of the nation. As per the judgment, HPC members might disagree on road widening. They agreed on other environmental issues in which the road project was implemented by MoRTH. The Bench said that benefits to the armed forces are crucial, but environmental health is also an important factor for all the individuals residing in that area. Image Source

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