Opinion DC Comment 16 Dec 2021 DC Edit | Char Dham ...

DC Edit | Char Dham verdict welcome

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Dec 16, 2021, 2:15 am IST
Updated Dec 16, 2021, 2:15 am IST
Given the India-China face-off militarily and sporadic clashes at the Line of Actual Control, our Armed Forces deserve our complete support
The double-lane roads with paved shoulder systems of a width of 10 metres, that our Army needs to transport heavy machinery and large numbers of troops rapidly, must not be allowed to become a victim of overzealous Greens. (Representational Image/ AP)
 The double-lane roads with paved shoulder systems of a width of 10 metres, that our Army needs to transport heavy machinery and large numbers of troops rapidly, must not be allowed to become a victim of overzealous Greens. (Representational Image/ AP)

The decision of the Supreme Court to allow the Central government, via the ministry of defence, to widen roads as part of the 900-km-long Char Dham project in Uttarakhand, on the basis of national security requirements, overriding certain plausible objections from environmentalists, is welcome for its delicate balancing of concerns.

Given the India-China face-off militarily and sporadic clashes at the Line of Actual Control, our Armed Forces deserve our complete support, which crucially includes upgrading of infrastructure, especially our roads, to the specifications sought by our forces to use during emergencies.

 

The double-lane roads with paved shoulder systems of a width of 10 metres, that our Army needs to transport heavy machinery and large numbers of troops rapidly, must not be allowed to become a victim of overzealous Greens using our judiciary as a platform to cause obstacles and risks to national security.

As the highest court observed, the project had no malafide executive intent. With an investment of Rs 12,000 crores, these roads would also positively impact highway connectivity to four Hindu pilgrimage sites – a secondary benefit.
The SC bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Surya Kant rightfully observed that the security challenges at our borders need a national resolve to be met and cannot be treated on a par with other usual concerns of the environment or social impact.

 

It is now imperative on the governments, Central and states, not to misuse this profound observation as an excuse to bulldoze environmental concerns in other projects across the country, because as the apex court bench has observed, security concerns, especially in border areas, trump regular concerns.

Politicians are wont to find loopholes to push other agendas but national security is too significant and sacred a need and it cannot become de rigueur to use it to bypass other issues elsewhere.

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