The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 19 June 2017 questioned the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for not getting the zonal master plan of the much anticipated ' Char Dham highway project' approved before starting construction in the eco sensitive zone of the Gangotri National Park.
Affidavits from the Uttarakhand Forest Department and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) state that the plan has not been approved yet.
A plea filed before NGT reveals that the road widening project is violating forest laws as with the arrival of the monsoon, the construction debris of the BRO may lead to landslides and flooding in the hills.
NGT vacation bench consisting Justice UD Salvi and Dr PC Mishra has ordered the MORTH and BRO to submit undertaking that the road construction project will not be implemented till the zonal master plan is approved and measures to ensure safe construction are followed.
"You are undertaking a gigantic project. Small areas which may put environment into risk need to be considered. We don't want to stop construction", said the bench.
The construction muck on the hillside can lead to serious landslides like it did in the 2013 Kedarnath floods.
Uttarakhand had earlier imposed a 50 lakh fine on BRO for dumping construction debris on the hill slopes.