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What is the news?
The Supreme Court has allowed the Centre to widen the three Himalayan Highways which form part of the Char dham Pariyojna Project.
|Must Read: What is the “Char Dham Project”?|
What has the Supreme Court done?
The Supreme Court has modified its earlier 2020 order which had directed the centre to not widen the three Himalayan Highways (Rishikesh to Mana, Rishikesh to Gangotri and Tanakpur to Pithoragarh) based on environmental concerns.
Now, the Court has allowed the Centre to broaden the three highways based on strategic and security needs, but ordered strict implementation of environment protection measures.
Moreover, the court also appointed an oversight committee under Former Supreme Court Judge AK Sikhri to ensure environmental measures are taken care of while implementing the Project.
|Read more: Concerns associated with Char Dham project|
In doing this, the court has sought what is called a “delicate balance” between environmental considerations and security needs.
What were the strategic reasons for allowing the widening of Highways?
The Government of India has sought the widening of the three highways as widening them will enable speedy deployment of men, machinery and armament by the armed forces on the India-China Borders.
Source: This post is based on the following articles
– “SC approves widening of three Char Dham highways” published in The Hindu on 15th Dec 2021.
– “Char Dham Roads: SC accepts border security concerns, allows widening of 3 hill stretches” published in Indian Express on 15th Dec 2021.
– “SC cites national security, allows Char Dham project” published in TOI on 15th Dec 2021.