Why in News
- On 11 March 2022 Supreme Court urged to former justice A.K. Sikri to take over as the chairman of the high powered committee (HPC) constituted by it
- The committee aims to consider the cumulative and independent impact of the Chardham Mahamargh vikas pariyojana (chardham highway Development Project) on the entire Himalayan valley.
About Chardham Project
- The Foundation stone for the Char Dham road Project was laid by PM Narendra Modi in December 2016.
- Chardham Pariyojana aims to improve the connectivity to the chardham pilgrimage centre (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri Yamunotri) in the Himalayas.
- It is a proposed two lane expressway national highway with a minimum width of 10 meter in the state of Uttarakhand.
- The Project includes 900 km. national Highway will connect whole of uttarakhand state.
- Tanakpur - Pithoragarh stretch of National Highway (NH) - 125, a part of the kailash Mansarovar Yatra route.
Environmental concerns regarding the Char Dham Project
- The unregulated cutting of trees and scooping up land at the base of hills is irreversible damaging the ecosystem
- The Project passes through dangerously prone to land slides.
- Other concerns raised including dumping of debris on the slopes.
- The debris when dumbed on both side of the banks of a river, narrow it which led to intense flooding.
Important Information of High Power Committee
- The HPC would look after the environmental concerns and other issues related to the Chardham Project as well as the cumulative and independent impact of the Chardham Project - on the entire Himalayan Valley.
- On December 14 last year, the top court had allowed double lane widening of the strategic Chardham highway project.
- They observing that the country's security concerns may change over time and the recent past has thrown serious national security challenges.