- The Bill, aimed at bringing the ‘Char Dham’ or the four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, besides 49 other temples, under the purview of a proposed shrine Board, was passed by the Assembly in December 2019.
- The shrine board is the highest governing body for the management of the 53 temples and has powers to frame policies, formulate the budget and sanction expenditure, among others.
- The board may also give directions for the safe custody, prevention and management of funds, valuable securities, jewellery and properties vested in the temples.
- The decision will lead to the abolition of Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board, which has been facing protests from priests and other stakeholders of four shrines.
About Chardham project-
- Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana (Char Dham Highway Development Project) is an initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
- The Rs 12,000-crore highway expansion project was envisaged in 2016 to widen 889 km of hill roads to provide all-weather connectivity in the Char Dham circuit.
- It covers Uttarakhand’s four major shrines — Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri and part of the route leading to Kailash Mansarovar yatra.
- Uttarakhand State Public Works Department, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited are the implementing agencies of the project.