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Uttarakhand

Posted at: Jul 11, 2018, 12:51 AM; last updated: Jul 11, 2018, 12:51 AM (IST)CHAR-DHAM PROJECT

Muck disposal: Notice to Centre, state

New Delhi, July 10

A plea seeking a time-bound muck disposal plan for the Char Dham highway project to provide all-weather connectivity to four holy towns of Uttarakhand on Tuesday led the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to seek the response from the Centre and the state government.

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel issued notices to the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways and the Uttarakhand Government on a plea by an NGO, alleging illegalities in the procurement of environmental clearances.

The matter will come up for hearing on August 26.

The NGT was hearing a plea filed by NGO Common Cause, seeking directions to submit a time-bound muck disposal plan and bar the project proponent from constructing the road, until proper disposal of muck already generated, was undertaken.

It is alleged that the road widening work to connect the Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri was being carried out in violation of environmental laws.

Advocate Gaurav Bansal, appearing for the NGO, contended that the debris, generated during the construction of the road along National Highway 108, was being directly thrown along the slopes next to the site which slides down directly into the river.

“This process will be much faster with the onset of monsoons, thereby causing concerns of an impending disaster in the form of landslides and flooding,” the plea said.

The NGO also alleged that indiscriminate chopping of trees was being undertaken for the highway project and the exact number of axed trees was not available, as forest clearances have been applied for in segments by the project proponent. — PTI

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