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Char Dham road project to reclaim 56k trees; 36k already felled | India News


DEHRADUN: The central government’s ambitious Char Dham Highway project, which will link the sanctuary cities of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri by expanding and strengthening a nearly 900 km stretch of Himalayan roads, is leading to the logging of more than 56,000 trees in the ecologically fragile mountain ranges. Of these, around 36,000 trees have already been felled, while the rest are in the cutting block and are awaiting authorization from officials, according to the data to which TOI has exclusive access revealed.
The maximum number of trees to be felled currently is on National Highway 125 between Tanakpur and Pithoragarh, where 6,885 trees will be felled. The NH-58 stretch between Rudraprayag and Mana will see 6,291 trees cut down while the Rishikesh 3,460 trees have been marked for logging on the Rudraprayag stretch on NH-58.
Experts note that the blatant felling of trees and felling of slopes has already begun to have a devastating impact on the Himalayan ranges.
Residents of mountainous areas are also concerned, as landslide-related accidents on or near project sites last year alone claimed about a dozen lives, the majority of workers involved in the project. Some villagers have also made complaints to the police about the ineffective removal of dirt and the work that is being carried out on the project arbitrarily.

Times of India