- A 4. 5 km-long tunnel planned to reduce traffic congestion on the approach road to Mussoorie has led to several residents expressing concern that the project, envisaged two years ago, could be an “ecological disaster” and pose a threat to the hill town.
- The concerns, which were raised even when the ₹700 crore project was announced by Union road transport and highways minister in June 2021, have heightened following the crisis in Joshimath and recent comments by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) which termed the tunnel as “dangerous”.
- The tribunal while taking suo motu cognisance of media reports last month had said that the Joshimath disaster is “a warning for Mussoorie where unplanned construction activity is taking place beyond the town’s carrying capacity”.
- The bench, headed by NGT chairperson had observed in its order dated January 31 that over concretisation leads to landslides.
- Proposed tunnel below Mussoorie is dangerous.
- So is proposed ropeway from Dehradun to Mussoorie. Ropeway and tunnel have damaged Joshimath.
- The tunnel is intended to divert traffic going towards GangotriYamunotri, Uttarkashi and Kempty Fall which otherwise passes through Mussoorie and leads to congestion in the hill town’s main thoroughfare, Library Chowk.
- Tunnel, if constructed, could also aggravate the water crisis in Mussoorie.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB