The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Centre to continue with ongoing projects under the proposed Chardham development plan to set up all-weather connectivity for four towns considered sacred in Uttarakhand, PTI reported. The top court, however, said the stay order on construction of stalled projects would remain in force until further notice.

The towns of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath will be connected with all-weather roads as part of the plan.

Non-governmental organisation Green Doon, the petitioner in the case, had told the court that the project would cause major damage to the state’s ecology and drew parallels with the impact of the 10 hydro power projects on the region.

On November 26, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to explain why it should not stay the National Green Tribunal’s order approving the projects. On Friday, A bench of justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran asked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre to submit an affidavit on why the tribunal’s order should not be stayed and set up a panel to monitor the matter.

The petitioner alleged that the 900-km project was being undertaken without an environmental impact assessment. It cited the 2013 floods in the state as a cautionary tale against major projects of this nature.