Minutes of Congress | Environmental assessment was not required for Char Dham project: from Center to Congress

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The Char dam project in Uttarakhand, where the Silk Yala tunnel is being developed, did not require an environmental impact assessment, the Union government said in Parliament on December 6.

On November 12, a landslide caused part of the 4.5-kilometre tunnel to cave in, trapping 41 men for 16 days. They were pulled out alive after a long rescue operation.

Also read | The formation of the Himalayas requires attention

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, through a notification dated August 22, 2013, has approved widening of national highways by more than 100 km with additional rights of way or right-of-way of more than 40 meters in existing alignment and 60 meters in re-alignment. Requesting acquisition. Prior environmental clearance. Additionally, although the total length of the Chardham project is 825 km, environmental permits were not required as it was being developed in smaller parcels consisting of 53 projects, each less than 100 km in length.

“Each project is independent and has a clear start and end point which is a key location for these highways. There was no requirement for environmental impact assessment (EIA) for these projects,” said Nitin. – Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said this in response to a question from Rashtriya Janata Dal MP AD Singh in Rajya Sabha.

The Char Dham project envisages all-weather connectivity to four major pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand – Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. In February 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the construction of the 4.531km two-lane, bidirectional Silk Yara-Barkot tunnel at a total project cost of 1,383.78 million rupees.

The Minister said that under the directions of the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Environment has established a high-powered committee comprising representatives from the Wildlife Institute of India, Wadi Himalayan Institute of Geology, Central Soil Conservation Institute, National Institute of Disaster Management and Forestry Research Institute. He added that he had formed an association. Institute. The committee is mandated to consider the impact of the Char Dham project on the entire Himalayan valley and issue directions to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and expedited EIA.

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