New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) The ambitious Rs 11,700-crore Char Dham programme to connect Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath has been delayed and its completion will depend on the outcome of litigation pending with high courts, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

The original target date of the completion of the 889 km projects under the programme was March 2020.

Char Dham National Highway connectivity programme aims at development of 889 km length of NHs leading to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath and part of route leading to Kailash Mansarovar yatra at a total cost of Rs 11,700 crore, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mansukh L Mandaviya told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

“Out of a total 53 separate and independent projects under this programme 37 projects in total length of 633 km has been sanctioned, which include 28 projects in total length of 508 km at implementation stage,” Mandaviya said.

He said Rishikesh to Rudraprayag, Rudraprayag to Mana village, Rishikesh to Dharasu bend, Dharasu bend to Gangotri, Dharasu bend to Yamunotri, Rudraprayag to Gaurikund and Tanakpur to Pithoragarh are included in the programme.

The minister said nine projects are at tender/award stage and out of balance of 16 projects, five projects lie on National Highway leading form Dharasu bend to Gangotri which lies in Bhagirathi eco sensitive zone and where change of land use is not permitted.

“…No work has been taken up so far for want of finalisation of master plan of Baghirathi eco sensitive zone….The programme has been delayed due to litigation related to forest and environment clearance in various courts and the exact date of completion of the programme depends upon the outcome of the same,” he said.

In order to mitigate impact of project on environment, mitigative measures such as slope protection, adequate drainage works and compensatory afforestation are taken up, he said. PTI NAM

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.