Udayavni Special

Chardham project: Nitin Gadkari lauds BRO for Chamba tunnel construction

Team Udayavani, May 26, 2020, 12:24 PM IST

New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday lauded the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for constructing a 440-metre long tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road and termed it as an ‘extraordinary feat’ in nation-building during the pandemic.

The BRO successfully dug up the 440-metre long tunnel below the Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road, National Highway no 94, which will facilitate all-weather connectivity to Chardham — Gangotri, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Badrinath.

“I congratulate the entire BRO team for their extraordinary feat in nation-building amidst this global pandemic… Ever since the catastrophe that hit Kedarnath, we were committed for an all-weather connectivity to Chardham and this is an important milestone,” Road Transport, Highways Minister Gadkari said.

He said the breakthrough of this tunnel will go a long way in facilitating speedy movement of traffic, reducing congestion and distance to Chamba town and easing the movement of yatris on Chardham Yatra and bring economic prosperity.

He said the latest Austrian technology has been used in construction of the Chamba tunnel. The tunnel will be through for traffic by October 2020 almost three months before its scheduled date of completion of January 2021, he said.

The 6-km road and 450-metre tunnel is being constructed at a cost of Rs 88 crore.

BRO started work on ‘North Portal’ of the tunnel in January 2019 but work on ‘South Portal’ could commence only after October 2019 when issues concerning land compensation and safety of houses above the tunnel were resolved to the satisfaction of all stakeholders with active support from the state government.

The loss in time was compensated by day and night working shifts along with use of modern technology and machines provided by Bharat Construction, Dehradun.

Under the 900-km ‘Char Dham’ project costing about Rs 12,000 crore, BRO is constructing 250-km of National Highway leading to holy shrines of Gangotri and Badrinath, Gadkari said while congratulating Lt Gen Harpal Singh, DG Border Roads, and his team for completing crucial projects of national importance in two years.

Gadkari said BRO has been entrusted with 251 km and this consists of 17 packages out of which 10 projects of 151 km have been sanctioned.

The Minister asked the BRO to be ready with all preliminary works related to remaining packages which were stuck as they fell in ecological sensitive zone and a high-powered committee report was awaited, assuring that he will get in touch with concerned authorities to expedite the same.

He also asked the BRO to ensure beautification drive along the highway including plantation of green species besides other methods.

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