A major initiative is being taken to provide a green cover along the highways
Sakshi Kuchroo | April 27, 2016 | New Delhi
Nitin Gadkari, minister of road transport , highways and shipping on Wednesday announced that one percent of allocations made for laying of highways across India is being earmarked for greening the highways.
Speaking at a two-day conference on ‘Transplantations along national highways as a measure for Carbon Sequestration’ Gadkari said that of the Rs.1.5 lakh crore road construction agreements signed by his ministry with private and public sector partners, one percent has been earmarked for tree plantation, transportation of saplings and tree and beautification of the highways for green cover.
The greening of highways initiative will also provide employment in rural areas as women and youth will get the job of raising plants for massive green cover required along the proposed highways.
He said his ministry has also proposed that yet another one percent of the project cost be kept aside for road safety.
Gadkari also announced the setting up of 1,200 villages along the proposed highways. These villages, he said, would show case, local history, products, crops and handicrafts to the travelers. Besides, these spots will have amenities like hospitals and eateries for the convenience of travelers.
On the spectre of drought in many states, Gadkari said 89 projects under accelerated irrigation benefits program [AIBP] worth Rs 80,000 crores have been launched during four years to address this problem. However, many of these projects are yet to see the light of the day.
Surface transport ministry’s green initiative is part of India’s intended nationally determined contributions [INDCs] of bringing down the emission of green house gases by 32 percent by 2030.
India has promised to the world community at the Paris climate meet that it will try to do more than the INDCs to save the planet.
India’s massive road construction is a high carbon releasing process. However, greening the highways will eventually help the environment.
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