Approval to zonal master plan:
- CHAARDHAAM ROAD PROJECT sis in the State of Uttarakhand, Zonal Master Plan(ZMP) prepared by the Government of Uttarakhand and appraised by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, has been accorded approval by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEF&CC)
- The Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone notification from Gaumukh to Uttarakashi covering an area of 4179.59 sq. kilometer was issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEF&CC) on 18th December 2012 keeping in view the requirements of the local people without affecting their rights and privileges and also ensuring eco-friendly development for their livelihood security.
- The notification was subsequently amended on 16th April 2018 in consultation with the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, GOI; Government of Uttarakhand, and Indian Road Congress.
- The Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone notification mandated the State Government of Uttarakhand to prepare ZMP to be implemented under the supervision of the Monitoring Committee.
- The ZMP is based on the watershed approach and includes governance in the area of forest and wildlife, watershed management, irrigation, energy, tourism, public health and sanitation, road infrastructure, etc.
- The approval of ZMP will give a boost to the conservation and ecology of the area and also undertake developmental activities as permitted under ZMP.
What is Eco-Sensitive Zone?
- Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ) are areas within the radius of 10 km around protected areas, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries. ESZs were notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the Environment Protection Act 1986.
- If the area is within a sensitive corridor or ecologically important, the distance can be extended from the 10 km width as specified in the normal cases.
- The activities allowed in the ESZs are normally classified into prohibited activities, regulated activities, and permitted activities.
What is ChaarDhaam Project?
- It is a project launched by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for the improvement of connectivity for Chaardhaam i.e. Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri in Uttarakhand.
- The cost of the whole project has been pegged as Rs 12000 crores and it is aimed at developing 889 km length of national highways.
- The project is being implemented by Uttarakhand State Public Works Department, Border Roads Organization, and National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited.
- It is being carried out in the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction mode.