A “GREEN” plan for highways

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways on 21st July, 2015 formulated the new Green Highways (Plantation and Maintenance) Policy, 2015. This is a “green highways” policy to “tree-line” 140,000 kilometers of national highways. Under this policy, 1% of the civil cost of national highway development projects will have to be set aside for the planting of trees in a planned manner, covering both existing national highway sections and new routes that would be added to the network.

As per the norms outlined in the policy, the Government will create a pool of 1,000-odd contractors with their own nurseries, who will be entrusted with planting trees, landscaping and laying grass turfs and ornamental shrubs along national highways. The policy aims to provide employment to the local people and will be implemented with the participation of the local communities, farmers, NGOs, private sector players, local self-government bodies and the forest department.

The ministry or the National Highways Authority will appoint an authorized agency for empanelment of plantation agencies, which will then be allowed to bid for the projects. The plantation agency will have no right on the land and cannot undertake any other activity on such land.

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