What are all-weather roads, and India's Char Dham road project?
An all-weather road is a road that allows travel in all weather conditions. All weather roads usually refer to a road that is built in a way that prevents flooding or bogging to the point where moving cars are not at risk of becoming stranded because of it.
Road blockage in Uttarakhand
During the monsoon season, constant rain causes about 200 roads in Uttarakhand to get blocked, including the access roads to the Kedarnath and Badrinath temples. Additionally, rain has caused landslides, hampered highway flow, and complicated the journey from Janki Chatti to Yamunotri in Uttarkashi. Every year, a succession of cloudbursts causes rivers to flood, which destroys roads, buildings, and bridges.
Char Dham All Weather Road Project
According to the Ministry of Roads Transport & Highways, the Char Dham All Weather Road Project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27th December 2016. This project aimed at improving all-weather connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centers in the Himalayas which are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.
Read more: PM to Lay Foundation Stone of ‘Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna’
This project included developing 900 km of national highways in Uttarakhand at a total cost of Rs. 12000 crores. The project is set to have tunnels, bypasses, bridges, subways, and viaducts to prevent traffic bottlenecks. The ministry claimed that a team of experts has been engaged to identify zones prone to landslides and environmentally friendly techniques are being incorporated into the design to make these zones safer.
Read more: Char Dham Programme
The projects also include mitigation measures/ stabilization of chronic landslides & sinking spots/zones as standalone projects or part of road widening projects to avoid landslides and safety of road users.
Bioengineering methods like hydroseeding are being used for vegetative growth on fragile slopes for their stability. All these measures shall safeguard the highway and habitation against natural calamity, states the Ministry of Roads Transport & Highways.
Read more: Char Dham All Weather Road Project
Even though the project was initially expected to be finished by March 2022. But, the current updates indicate that the program’s delay was mostly caused by legal disputes over clearing forests and the environment in several courts of law. Additionally, due to the recent land subsidence in Joshimath that has affected hundreds of homes, all significant projects nearby have been promptly halted.
- What happens to Char Dham yatra after Joshimath’s sinking?
- Char Dham All Weather Road getting dangerous with crack in rocks
- India’s most strategic all-weather road in Uttarakhand washed away
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