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Uttarakhand to form all-encompassing body to streamline development works in Chardham

Uttarakhand government is setting up an all-encompassing body to oversee the development works in the state’s famed four Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, which are plagued by haphazard growth.

The proposed Chardham Development Authority (CDA) will be an umbrella organisation of all the existing religious and non-religious agencies such as Badri Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC) functioning in the areas, said tourism department sources.

These holy sites draw lakhs of people from India, Nepal and other parts of the world every year.

Haphazard development, encroachments have taken place in the entire Chardham circuit causing immense harm to the areas’ fragile Himalayan ecology.

The CDA is expected to streamline the development process.

Once the CDA takes over, even the district authorities of Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudraprayag where the four shrines are located will have no say on the development activities in the areas, the sources added.

The CDA will, however, have no jurisdiction over the religious matters.

After the formation of the CDA, which will have the mandate to oversee developmental works in eco sensitive areas coming under its ambit, there will also be no need for the setting up of the cabinet-ratified Kedarnath Development Authority, said an official of the tourism department.

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