Char Dham Project [CDP]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 13, 2022, 4:53

The Char Dham Project (CDP) intends to "increase connection to the Chardham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri), making journeys to these centres safer, faster, and more convenient." It would widen about 900 kilometres of roadways, including the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch of National Highway (NH) 125, which is part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route.

Char Dham Project [CDP] could serve as a key feeder road connecting the India-China border to Army facilities in Dehradun and Meerut, which house missile sites and heavy equipment.

Details of Char Dham Project [CDP]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the 12,000 crore Char Dham Project [CDP] at Parade Ground in Dehradun on December 27, 2016. The Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana highway building project aims to expand the connection to the Chota Char Dham. The Chota Char Dham is a pilgrimage route that runs through the Himalayas.

The highway plan will also include railway connections as well as multiple lengthy tunnels and bridges to minimize regions that are prone to accidents and slides.

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Uttarakhand State Public Works Department (PWD), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), and National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited are the implementation agencies (NHIDCL) for the Char Dham Project [CDP].

Highway's Running Length719
North Point of the HighwayMana
South Point of the HighwayRishikesh
AuthorityNational Highway Authority of India
Tentative Routes for the Char Dham Project
  • Rishikesh - Yamunotri
  • Rishikesh - Gangotri
  • Rishikesh - Kedarnath
  • Rishikesh - Badrinath

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Impact of the Char Dham Project [CDP] on the Environment

The Char Dham Project [CDP] is expected to destroy 690 hectares of forest and 55,000 trees, as well as 20 million cubic meters of soil. The indiscriminate harvesting or removal of vegetation for road widening can be hazardous to biodiversity as well as regional ecology.

Among the remarkable species found there are the Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos, Schedule-I), Tragopans (Tragopan melanocephalus and Tragopan satyra, Schedule-I), and different species of Vultures (Schedule-I), as well as the endangered fish Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora).

Although there is no link between the Char Dham project and the recent Chamoli glacier break tragedy, uncontrolled bombing during road construction creates cracks in the soil and rocks, thereby increasing the risk of future flash floods.

The Border Road Organisation is currently building the Char Dham Project [CDP], a two-lane highway in the state of Uttarakhand. Once the project is completed, it will connect the four significant pilgrim cities of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.

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FAQs on Char Dham Project [CDP]

Q.1. Which state will the Char Dham Project [CDP] be built in?

The Char Dham Project [CDP], around Rs 12,000 crore, proposes to link four Hindu sites in Uttarakhand's Garhwal region: Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

Q.2. What are the Advantages of the Char Dham Project [CDP]?

The Char Dham Project [CDP] would boost Uttarakhand's tourism industry, which is the state's lifeblood. It will also result in a decrease in the number of accidents. In addition, border security would be improved because the army can deploy to the Chinese border more quickly.

Q.3. What has been the most recent development with the Char Dham Project [CDP]?

The Chamba Tunnel, one of the Char Dham Project [CDP] multiple auxiliary tunnel systems, was opened on May 26, 2020. The Chamba tunnel is 440 meters long, with a 10-meter carriageway width and 5.5-meter vertical clearance.

Q.4. What is the Purpose of the Char Dham Project [CDP]?

Since Uttarakhand receives a high number of tourists, pilgrims, and other travellers, the Char Dham Project [CDP] is necessary as the current roads and highways need to be improved to ensure their safety.

Q.5. How many routes are proposed for the Char Dham Project [CDP]?

A total of four routes are proposed for the Char Dham Project [CDP]: Rishikesh - Yamunotri, Rishikesh - Gangotri, Rishikesh - Kedarnath, and Rishikesh - Badrinath.