DEHRADUN: Former Indian Army chief and MoS for Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Gen VK Singh (Retd) on Thursday said that Char Dham project will be completed before the advent of Haridwar Mahakumbh 2021.
Singh was on Uttarakhand visit and conducted an aerial survey of ongoing work in Char Dham project with Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat.
"The Char Dham Pariyojana will be completed before Mahakumbh in Haridwar starts in the year 2021. The project is being monitored closely and every hurdle will be removed to attain perfection," said Singh.
The project is aimed at widening and repairing 889-kilometers of national highways leading to revered shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
The Minister further added that the work at 100kms stretch between Uttarkashi and Gangotri is yet to kick-off as the area lies in 'Eco-Sensitive Zone'.
"The high powered committee constituted by the Supreme Court has submitted the report on the matter and we hope the issue will be resolved soon to get the work started," added the MoS.
Apart from surveying the ongoing work in the project, the former Army chief also conducted an aerial survey of many other areas including Uttarkashi, Jankichatti, Chamba, Narendra Nagar, Chinyalisaur, Dharasu and Barkot.
After the aerial survey, he met the officials and engineers involved in the project for discussion, review and analysis at Indo-Tibetan Border Police camp in Matli in Uttarkashi district.
The state government officials informed the union minister that the work on 250 kms of the road has been completed while widening is going on for another 400 kms of the length of the roads.
The work on the remaining 239kms is yet to start as the requisite environmental clearance yet to be granted.
According to the estimates, over Rs 4000 Crore has already been spent on the dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Trivendra Singh Rawat, after review meeting, said, "The work is going on fast and we hope to deliver results with perfection. The number of pilgrims is increasing every year and we are committed to providing world-class facilities and experience to the pilgrims."
In the year 2019, in a highest-ever turnout, over 38 lakh pilgrims visited the Char Dham which is expected to increase in upcoming years.
Interestingly, the chief secretary of Uttarakhand Utpal Kumar Singh, in December 2019 had said that the project might get delayed to year 2022 instead of meeting the earlier deadline of year 2020.
Apart from the widening of the roads leading to the shrines, the project involves multiple safety measures to counter land sides and other natural disasters.