India’s 90,000 kms of national highways into green corridors

To transform India’s 90,000 kms of national highways into green corridors, the government will soon implement an ambitious policy under which one per cent of the road construction cost will go towards planting trees. The government plans to create a brigade of 1,000 contractors to fulfill this ambitious task, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. “Now, we have taken a decision that one per cent of cost in construction is for tree plantation and other things. We are going to create 1,000 contractors in the country. “They will have their own nurseries. They will plant new trees and create a green area on national highways,” Gadkari said on the sidelines of an event on Waste Management. He said if the cost of road construction comes to around Rs 1 lakh crore, Rs 1,000 crore will go for plantation. “Planting trees in any particular area will depend on the soil suitability there, besides climate and success stories. Konkan in Maharashtra is famous for Alphanso, we can plant it there. “In Chhattisgarh we can have tamarind. Somewhere in between the road lengths we can have flowers like roses,” he said. He added that besides planting trees, the government is against felling of trees and a technology was being imported from Canada for transplantations. The new green policy, he said, will pave for creation of employment as well as contribute towards the economic growth of the country. The Indian road network of 33 lakh kms is the second largest in the world and consists of 92,851 kms of National Highways, which constitutes only 1.7 per cent of the road network but carry about 40 per cent of the total road traffic.