The minister said that after the green nod the Road and Highways Ministry has expedited the work on the project which is on the top of the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
"Environment clearances have been received for 10 of the proposals of Char Dham project, built at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore. We have expedited the work and will complete the project before the end of 2018," the Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister told PTI.
The Minister said other scuttled proposals related to the ambitious project will be cleared soon as meetings are on among various ministries, including the Environment and Forest Ministry.
"This will be the biggest gift to people as pilgrimage to Char Dham remains high on the peoples' agenda as this is an issue linked with faith. People come to Char Dham in large numbers from foreign countries as well," Mr Gadkari said. He said the highways are built on a 900 km new alignment and tunnels etc are built at a fast pace as this will be an all-weather road.
Earlier this month the Minister has chaired a meeting of group of ministers on infrastructure and has urged various ministries to expedite 18 proposals of the Char Dham project that were scuttled in absence of various clearances.
The project aims at improving connectivity to Char Dham pilgrimage centres of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in the Himalayas.
Uttarakhand government officials present during the meeting had pointed out a notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change declaring 40 square km area near river Bhagirathi as eco sensitive zone.
Mr Gadkari has urged his forest counterpart to look into the matter as this was not only holding up the Char Dham project but causing delays in Namami Gange and Border Road Projects as well.
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