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SC panel leader cites link between Char Dham road widening, Uttarakhand floods | India News

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NEW DELHI: The center informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that there is no link between the widening of Chardham Road and the flash floods last week, which claimed many lives in Uttarakhand.
The Prosecutor General of the Republic of Venugopal, coming out for the Ministry of Defense, claimed in front of a jewel headed by Justice RF Nariman that he needs some time to respond to the allegations made by the head of a committee of experts appointed by the high court by citing the link.
Venugopal presented the letter from the chairman of the High Power Committee (HPC) claiming that there is a link between the road widening and the Uttarakhand disaster. “But according to us, there is no such connection. We want to respond to the charges and we need time,” Venugopal said in front of the bench also composed of judges Hemant Gupta and BR Gavai.
Ravi Chopra, chairman of the HPC, in a letter dated February 13 to the Supreme Court, had said that the latest catastrophe in the Rishiganga Valley occurred in the region north of the Central Central Thrust (MCT), which is very prone to landslides. land, floods and earthquakes.
“Part of the defensive road to the India-China border and a bridge across the Rishiganga River on that road have been removed, lending credibility to our argument for disaster resistance in the region,” the letter said.
He added that he was obliged to write this letter to the Supreme Court in light of the recent dam disaster in the Chardham region of Uttarakhand.
Chopra added in the letter: “I was told that after the recent tragedy, locals are grateful for the 2014 Supreme Court order, staying on the 24 proposed projects. If that stance were not given, three more on construction projects only upstream and downstream of the Rishiganga HEP would have multiplied the deadly impact of the flood “.
Chopra added that the sensitivity and sensitivity of the disaster in this region will increase with widespread concerns such as deforestation, slope cutting, eruption, tunneling, river damage, over-tourism, etc. “The cumulative impact of such activities on nearby glaciers could not have been ignored,” the letter said.
On February 7, a glacier erupted in the upper Himalayas led to massive flooding of the Alakananda-Dhauliganga River systems in Uttarakhand, which led to the deaths of over 50 people, with about 150 still missing.
The court-appointed tribunal is monitoring the 900-kilometer Chardham Highway project, which aims to connect four Hindu holy cities of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand. The project is also considered strategically important against the backdrop of the recent India-China military blockade on the LAC.
Chopra said the report submitted by him and two members strongly argued that disaster resistance is more critical than wide highways. “Some sites and chronic slippery slopes, where slope stability is uncertain, exist on the three Chardham Highways identified by the Department of Defense (MoD) as feeding route. MoRTH data submitted to the HPC have identified 161 “Sensitive locations at 574 km (NH-94 Rishikesh in Uttarkashi, NH-58 Rishikesh in Mana and NH-125 Tanakpur in Pithoragarh), about one location every 3.5 km,” the letter said.
Chopra added that no convincing argument exists in the recent oath of the Ministry of Defense to ignore and prevail the deep and irreversible ecological damage in the Himalayas that will affect each of us and the generations to come. The Supreme Court has given the government two weeks to come up with an answer.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the highway project, which was planned as a 10-meter-wide road, could only be 5.5 meters wide. The defense ministry moved the high court citing the need to widen the road for the rapid movement of the armed forces and their equipment along the India-China border and will also provide better amenities for locals. Of the 26 panel members appointed by the court, 21 favored widening the road.

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