Debate on Char Dham road project, army cannot fight war in difficult areas says Govt

Referring to Chinese military build-up across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the central government told the Supreme Court that if the army cannot take its missile launchers, heavy machinery to the northern India-China border, how will it protect it Do and fight a war, if it breaks down.

The government’s comments came during the hearing by the apex court on a batch of petitions against the 900-km-long Chardham project, which aims to provide all-weather connectivity to the four holy cities- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. In the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

The first petition has been filed by an NGO against widening of roads for the project, citing environmental concerns.

The second has been filed seeking permission to increase the width to 10 metres, seeking amendments to the court order passed by the Union Defense Ministry in September 2020.

Trying to allay the concerns of landslides in the Himalayan regions due to the construction of the Chardham Highway Project, the government said that all necessary steps have been taken to mitigate the disaster and added that landslides have occurred in different parts of the country and not Especially because of road construction. ,

Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the government, said these are difficult terrains and the army needs to move heavy vehicles, machinery, weapons, missiles, tanks, troops and food supplies.

“Our BrahMos missile is 42 feet long and needs bigger vehicles to carry its launchers. If the military can’t take its missile launchers and machinery to the northern China border, how will it fight a war if it breaks down?”

He said, “God forbid if war breaks out how will the army deal with it when it does not have weapons. We have to be careful and alert. We have to be ready. Our Defense Minister had participated in the Indian Road Congress and said that Does the military need disaster resistant roads?

Venugopal highlighted that suitable studies including geological survey, morphology and human activities have been done in sensitive areas and steps like slope stabilization, afforestation, scientific sewage disposal have been taken.

“Landslides can happen anywhere in the country, even where there is no road activity, but necessary steps have been taken for mitigation. Our roads need to be disaster resistant. Special security measures in sensitive areas Where there are frequent landslides and heavy snowfall blocking the road?

The top law officer said that the Indian Road Congress (IRC) has recommended an additional width of 1.5 meters in snowy areas so that vehicles can ply in those areas.

“The build-up on the other side of the border can only be accessed through passes in these mountains. The High Powered Committee (HPC) monitoring the Chardham project did not address these concerns of the Army in its report. How far is the HPC report from the army’s requirements? he said.

He said that today there is a situation where there is a need to protect the country and there is a need to mobilize all available resources and forces to protect the country.