Green Highway Projects: Path to Sustainable Development
Green Highway Projects: Path to Sustainable DevelopmentQuestion: Highway projects are an important infrastructure for economic development. Green highways are the pathway to sustainable development. Elaborate.
- Highway projects need to be environmentally sustainable to ensure natural resources are not lost in process of highway construction
- Highways developed as green corridors sustain biodiversity and also benefit local stakeholders besides increasing eco-friendly economic growth and development
- Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy-2015 is in place to develop eco-friendly National Highways with community participation and aid from NGOs, public and private sector institutions and the Forest Department.
- Aim is to change the impact of air pollution to lower levels and have trees and shrubs to absorb the GHG emissions
- Also, these plants will arrest soil erosion at embankment slope
- Plants along highway median strips reduce vehicular glare and prevent accidents
- Community involvement in tree plantation generates employment besides galvanising the Panchayats, NGOs and SHGs.
- Policy aims at changing the whole process for avenue plantation and improvement of landscape through a Detailed Project report
- New policy defines responsibilities of the planting agency to supervise field operations and monitor the site for successful establishment of green cover
- Monitoring of plantation status is an important part of the policy for monitoring progress of planting and status of plantations on a regular basis
- Maintenance may also be carried out through outsourcing as part of the policy
- 1% of the civil cost of road projects will be for development of green corridors
Facts and Stats
- India has 46.99 lakh kms of road length
- From this 2% of the road length or 96214 km are National Highways
- These highways carry 40% of traffic load
- Ministry has decided to develop current NHs and 40,000 km as additional road over the next few years as Green Highways
- Project aims at development of Nation with Natural Highways to follow the road of development and pave a journey for sustainable development