Expressing grave concern over the rise in pollution levels, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Mansukh Lal Mandaviya on Monday urged for greater public participation, especially of farmers, in development and maintenance of highways as “green highways’ and said it would help curb the rising pollution levels.
“The current pollution levels in Delhi are an indicator of how we have erroneously adopted the European industrial model, while abandoning our very own age-old Indian Ayurvedic traditions, thus moving away from nature,” he said, addressing the maiden national convention on ‘Innovations in Green Highways’.
The Minister also suggested linking of the Green Highways Project with the ongoing Swachh Bharat Mission. “There would be a greater success in greening highways if the local farmers are also involved,” the Minister said adding if farmers are roped in plantation, maintenance, and protection of trees, it would give them a sense of responsibility and ownership.
National Highways Authority of India Chairman, Raghav Chandra said he was happy that his organisation while constructing the National highways would also be associated with restoring the environment through aesthetic greening.
Chandra said NHAI was confident of awarding 6000 km of National highways for greening by the end of the year, as per a statement from Road Transport and Highways Ministry.
He stressed that that greening of National highways would improve the scope for rural employment and create jobs for lakhs of people associated with it.
The statement said National Green Highways Mission (NGHM) also inked several pacts including with ITC for undertaking plantation, management & sustainable harvesting activities along NHs besides with Yes Bank for funding roadside plantations under CSR programme and TERI technical collaboration for fostering research & innovation in Green Highways.
“NGHM will also sign MoUs with JK Papers for undertaking plantation, management & sustainable harvesting activities along NHs; INBAR for promoting bamboo based applications in Green Highways; World Bank for strengthening Green Highways Programme,” the statement said.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has promulgated Green Highways (Plantations, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy – 2015 to undertake highways plantations along National Highways.
For the quick roll out of the scheme NGHM, NHAI has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing entire green highways programme for the Ministry, NHIDCL & NHAI. Zach Miller Womens JerseyShare This