GrowJust Desk: In view of security concerns, on Tuesday Supreme Court allowed making a double lane path for the Char Dham road project. SC has agreed with the government’s arguments that the government said it has strategic importance to make a wider lane in the area of Char Dham road.
On Tuesday morning the top court of the country said that it needs to be met the border security concerns and the movement of armies and equipment is also much needed. In the recent past, the road has given “serious challenges to national security.”
The bench of three members Justice Vikram Nath, Justice DY Chandrachud, and Justice Surya Kant added that The Defence Ministry is a specialized body and it can make decisions about the required operation. Moreover, the court also said that armed forces’ equipment is needed to met safeguard borders, and highways that have strategic importance are can’t be dealt with in the same manner as the other hilly terrains.
Besides the judiciary also acknowledged the petitioner’s environmental concerns and told that the petition was forming an oversight committee that will be led by Justice AK Sikri, a former judge of the Supreme Court.
Every four months, this committee will give the report to the Supreme Court on the project’s improvement will also have representatives from the Ministry of Environment and the National Environmental Research Institute. Its main goal is to assure the implementation of existing recommendations.
This 899 km highway project is in Uttarakhand and the area is very much ecologically sensitive. The road is connected to the four shrines of Badrinath, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Gangotri. It has already seen several numbers of floods and landslides incidents due to the cutting of trees in the road.
Citizens and a local NGO have challenged the road-widening for Green Doon and the immeasurable destruction to the fragile Himalayan ecosystem.
However, the government had said the road widening in this area is vital as with China they were ‘feeder’ roads accessing those on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). But the petitioner argued that the army never want to widen the roads.
Petitioner said to the Supreme Court, “Someone high up in political power wanted highways on the Char Dham yatra. And the Army then became a reluctant participant.”