PM Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Haldwani and inaugurated 23 development projects worth Rs 17,500 crore for Uttarakhand. Road projects constituted around Rs 9,000 crore of this amount, with three different stretches of the Char Dham allweather road, which have been recently widened, inaugurated by the PM. During his speech, Modi emphasised on the importance of the development projects initiated by the central government in Uttarakhand, including the ambitious all-weather road project, which aims to connect the four Himalayan shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri through an almost 900-km road widening exercise estimated to cost over Rs 12,000 crore. Although environmentalists have red-flagged the project as being “devastating for the Himalayan ecology”, the Supreme Court earlier this month gave its nod to the road-widening, “in view of national security”, saying that the project will allow better access to the India-China border in Uttarakhand for the armed forces. Reiterating the significance of the project which had been launched by him in 2016, Modi said, “I have a special connection with the Himalayas and am well aware of the power of this soil. I am sure that massive infrastructure projects such as the Char Dham all-weather road, Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail line, hydroelectric projects and others, will make this decade glorious for Uttarakhand. ”
He slammed the former Congress-led central government for “being uninterested in development”.