Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday reviewed a string of roads and port projects stranded due to delays in environment and forest clearances, and directed the ministries concerned to take necessary steps to address the issue.
The issues came up for discussion at the 5th meeting of the Group of Infrastructure. These projects include the Chardham road project in Uttarakhand that has been impacted due to a notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), which has proposed around 40 sq km of land in Uttarkashi district across Bhagirathi river as economic-sensitive zone. The state government of Uttarakhand wants the notification withdrawn as that is holding up the Char Dham, Namami Gange and border roads projects. The environment ministry has been asked to expedite clearance of these projects.
MOEFCC has been requested to exempt projects within 100 km of LOC (Line of Control) / LAC (Line of Actual Control) / international boundaries from sending proposals to Regional Offices of MOEFCC, as in the case of defence.
The road transport minister also sought faster environment and forest clearances for 32 other highways projects.
The clearances for the Kandla Port and Kamrajar Port also need to be expedited, it was noted at the meeting.