On July 1, the Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari launched the initial plantation drive on 1,500km of national highways at a cost of about Rs 300 crore under the National Green Highways Mission in New Delhi.
The launch was announced at a workshop organised by the National Green Highways Mission on the theme ‘Green Highways Projects: Way Ahead’. According to Gadkari, the greening project has a huge potential to generate jobs and can prove to be a game-changer for agriculture and rural economy. Greening of one kilometre of highway provides employment to 10 people.
Under the Green Highways Project, the government has made it mandatory to set aside 1 percent of the total project cost of any NH contract to a Green Fund corpus that will be used for plantation purposes. The afforestation is expected to help in sequestering approximately 12 lakh metric tonnes of carbon annually.
The event saw the unveiling of Guidelines for Implementation, the Vision Document and the Knowledge Reports of the project.
The guidelines document, developed by National Green Highways Mission is in compliance with the directives of Green Highways Policy (GHP) 2015 issued by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. The document incorporates the recommendations of the GHP and acts as a comprehensive roadside plantation and management manual.
The vision document of National Green Highways Mission will essentially define the approach National Green Highway Project intends to take for planning, implementation and monitoring of Green Highways Project. The vision document, comprising strategy, mission and action plan for 2016-2026, focuses on core issues, future roadmaps and success indicators for effective implementation of Green Highways Project.
NGHM-Yes Bank Knowledge Report on ‘Transplanting for Growth’ puts transplantation at the centre of discussion in the mission of greening highways in India. The report presents a compelling case for taking up transplantation as the preferred technique for plantation along the highways.
A charter was signed between NGHM and Yes Bank to create awareness on greening of highways and explore synergies between NGHM’s objectives and Yes Bank’s CoP21 commitment of planting 20 lakh saplings by 2020.