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Roadworks debris destroying floral wealth, affecting Dhauliganga

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 | PNS | Joshimath

The Dhauliganga and floral wealth on its bank are being negatively affected by indiscriminate dumping by the executing agency working on widening of the road from Malari to Niti in the Indo- Tibet border region in Chamoli district. Concerned citizens and environmental activists submitted a memorandum to the sub divisional magistrate regarding this issue while demanding necessary action.


The work on widening the Joshimath– Malari road is underway these days. However, instead of disposing of the debris and muck in the designated dumping zone, the executing agency is simply dumping the muck and debris in the Dhauliganga. Due to this illegal action of the agency concerned, the Dhauliganga river has become narrower at various sites with the flow of its waters also being affected at places. The locals state that as far as the Dhauliganga river is concerned, the centre’s ambitious Namami Gange mission is gasping for life in the Niti Valley which is the place of origin of the Dhauliganga river.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is getting work done on widening of the Joshimath-Malari highway for improved traffic movement in this Indo-Tibet border region. The BRO has contracted a private company for hill cutting work in this area for the road widening project. The locals state that the company concerned is conducting detonations to cut mountain cliffs and that the resulting debris are not being disposed of in the designated dumping zone. With many tonnes of muck and debris being dumped into the Dhauliganga river, trees of protected species like Deodar, Bhojpatra and Thuner are sustaining considerable damage and destruction. Local residents Dhan Singh Ghariya and Dharmendra Negi state that a memorandum has been submitted regarding this to the sub divisional magistrate wherein action has also been sought against the executing agency for blatant violation of the norms. 

It is pertinent to mention here activists have been stating for long that the construction and widening of roads in Uttarakhand is plagued by various anomalies. The indiscriminate, unscientific and illegal dumping of debris from roadworks is one such problem which the authorities have not been able to effectively address so far.

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