CHAR DHAM EXPRESSWAY: THE HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN
The project undertaken with the purpose of connecting four holy places, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri is a tribute to the victims of the 2013 Uttarakhand floods.
TEXT: LEANDRA MONTEIRO
The holy dwellings of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri see hundreds of eager visitors every year. With the bad weather conditions and height playing a deterring factor, having a highway was considered the need of the hour. The foremost aim of the project is to improve the accessibility to the shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedar Nath. The construction of the road is touted as a tribute to the victims of the 2013 Uttarakhand floods. It has also been presented as a promoter of the State’s economy by facilitating religious and recreational tourism. Enhanced connectivity to the India-China border is another major reason for the government’s push behind the project.
The foundation stone of the National Highway was laid in December 2016 The road known as Char Dham Mahamarg and the highway construction project called as Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana (Char Dham Highway Development Project) is being built to improve the connectivity to the Chota Char Dham centred in the Himalayas and ease the travel of Indian and foreign pilgrims.
The Project Facts
- Char Dham Expressway National Highway, is a much anticipated two-lane nonstop National Highway with a minimum width of 10 metres.
- As the All Weather Road Project it is being executed in Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
- It will also include a 900 km national highway that will connect whole state.
- The road spanning the entire state will include several long bridges and tunnels to eliminate accident and slide prone areas.
- The Indian Railway and National Highways Authority of India will ensure that rail and road highway routes are integrated on this circuit.
- The project will have bypasses, bridges, viaducts, pit stops, parking, helipads and helicopter emergency response services along the way in case of any emergency.
- The Char Dham All Weather Road was approved by National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2018.
- The project will shoot past its March 2020 deadline due to litigations related to forest and environment clearance in various courts and the exact date of completion of the program depends upon final outcome of the same as per Union government.