NGT Opposes Over Construction of 2 Bypasses on all Weather Char Dham Route

National Green Tribunal Law Insider

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 31 October 2022 at 14:27 IST

Due to the over 8,000 existing trees on the surveyed sites, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has protested to the construction of two bypasses along the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch of the all-weather Char Dham route.

The official of the public works department (NH division) said that sites will be resurveyed from the point of view of tunnels instead of bypasses as an alternative.

Further it was added that, “Out of the three bypasses proposed on the 150-km road, two were to be constructed at the Lohaghat-Pithoragarh portion, while third at the Champawat portion, which got a go ahead from NGT,”

Earlier the committee constituted by the Supreme Court cancelled the construction of three bypasses on the road in 2019 due to the presence of a large number of standing trees.

However, later on the court reconsidered construction of bypasses due to the road being strategically significant, following which a detailed project report (DPR) was prepared.

There are over 8,000 trees, including 4,120 at Lohaghat portion and 4,300 at Pithoragarh portion of road were standing on the surveyed sites for construction of two bypasses. To save these trees, the green tribunal rejected the DPR for construction of both bypasses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh section of the Char Dham all-weather road project in 2016, and the construction of the route started in 2017. The project was planned to be finished in 2019, however Covid and other technical issues caused a delay.

Authorities now have a new deadline of 2023 for completion.

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