Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27 December 2016 laid the foundation stone of Char Dham Highway Development Project in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
The primary objective of the programme is to develop all-weather roads leading to Char Dham - Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri in Uttarakhand.
Highlights of Char Dham Highway Development Project
• It is also called as the Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna.
• It is a part of the Union Government’s National Highway Connectivity Improvement Programme for Char Dham in Uttarakhand.
• Char Dham Highway Development Project is an ambitious initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas.
• Under the project, 900 km of national highways will be developed.
• These highways will be built at an approximate cost of Rs 12,000 crore.
• The all-weather roads will have tunnels, bridges and fly-overs to enhance road safety and uninterrupted access.
• It will have proper slope stabilisation to ensure protection against landslides.
• To enhance the safety of road users, provisions like widening of narrow and geometrically deficient national highways to two-lane carriageway are being made.
• The project is expected to generate additional employment for the local population and will change the economy of the State as it will give a strong boost to connectivity and tourism.
Tourism Sector in Uttarakhand
• Tourism is a major driver of economic growth and livelihood promotion in Uttarakhand.
• As per an estimate, tourism sector alone contributes to around 5% of the State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP).
• Apart from scenic places like Mussoorie and Nainital, religious tourist places such as Char Dham attracts tourists from other parts of India and abroad.
• However, the tourism potential in the state is underutilised due to lack of infrastructure including road connectivity.
• To address these problems, the state government approved the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Master Plan 2007 – 2022 with special emphasis on infrastructure development.
When: 27 December 2016