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Army Cannot Throw Up Hands On Grounds Of Road Width; If Landslides Occur Despite Precaution & Mitigation, We Have To Tackle It – AG to SC on Chardham Case

Written By – Arshita Anand

In the plea challenging the Char-Dham Highway expansion project on Thursday, AG K. K. Venugopal raised his contentions. The plea was heard by the bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath,

“Will the army throw up its hands and say that a landslide will take place and therefore, we will give up this Mountain Road leading to the Line of Actual Control? No army can be heard to say that! That cannot be done at all! We have to live with it!”, AG K. K. Venugopal told the Supreme Court on Thursday.

“Landslides are happening all over the country. We have to deal with them. And if we have to live with that, we have to use all our technology for the purpose of mitigation!”, he continued.

K.K. Venugopal had told the Supreme Court that to avoid similar circumstances as that of 1962 Indo-China war, especially in regards to the fact that China has passed new land border law in October, and has huge build-up of infrastructure on the other side of the border, it is necessary for the national security to focus on the Char-Dham Highway expansion project

In his turn, Mr. Gonsalves said that the proposed widening of the roads is only to advance only to advance the Centre’s “ambitious” Char-Dham Pariyojana.

Mr. Gonsalves told the bench that the justification offered by the Centre that the expansion of these roads is of strategic importance for national security, is only a ruse and that the Armed Forces has stated that it does not need the same.

Justice Chandrachud finally indicated to Mr. Gonsalves that he has not given any suggestions on “the alternative line we suggested yesterday”

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