News:Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has informed Lok Sabha about the Char Dham Programme.
About Char Dham Programme:
- The Char Dham programme is an initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas namely Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
- These four ancient pilgrimages sites in Uttarakhand are known as Chota Char Dham to differentiate them from the bigger circuit of modern day Char Dham sites namely Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram.
- The works under Char Dham Pariyojna are being implemented on Engineering Procurement and Construction(EPC) mode of contract.
- These projects are being implemented by three executing agencies of (a)Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, (b)Uttarakhand State PWD, (c)Border Road Organization(BRO) and (d)National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited(NHIDCL).
Features of the programme:
- The project proposes the widening of single lane roads into double lanes by up to 10 metres,developing highways in Uttarakhand and thereby improving access to the Char Dham.
- The projects also includes mitigation measures/ stabilisation of chronic landslide & sinking spots/zones as a standalone project or part of road widening projects to avoid landslide and safety of road users.
About EPC model:
- Engineering procurement and construction(EPC) is the system of private sector participation aimed at overcoming the shortcomings of PPP model.
- Under EPC model the contractor is legally responsible to complete the project under some fixed predetermined timeline and may also involve scope for penalty in case of time overrun. But the entire cost is borne by the government.
- In EPC all the clearances, land acquisition and regulatory norms have to be completed by the government itself and the private players do not have to get itself involved in these time taking procedures.
- The Border Roads Organisation(BRO) was formed in 1960 to secure India’s borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and north-east states of the country.It functions under the control of the Ministry of Defence since 2015.
- BRO executes road construction and maintenance works along the northern and western frontiers primarily to meet the strategic requirements of the army and is responsible for maintenance of over 53,000 km of roads.