A three-day workshop on National Convention on Innovations in Green Highways has been inaugurated in the capital. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Mansukh Lal Mandavia said that there would be a greater success in greening highways if the local farmers are also involved. The farmers if involved in plantation, maintenance, and protection would give them a sense of responsibility and ownership. The minister also expressed the hope that the convention will come up with actionable ideas that would be useful for the country. Mandavia also pointed out that the greening of the highways along with the Swachata Abhiyan could go a long way in improving the climate.
Raghav Chandra, Chairman, NHAI who also spoke at the inauguration said that he was happy that his organisation, while constructing National Highways, would also be associated with restoring the environment through aesthetic greening. He was confident of awarding 6,000 km of National Highways for greening by the end of the year. Chandra stressed that greening of National Highways would improve the scope for rural employment and create jobs for lakhs of people associated with it.
The National Green Highways Mission signed MoUs with ITC for undertaking plantation, management and sustainable harvesting activities along NHs; Yes Bank for funding roadside plantations under its CSR programme, and technical collaboration with TERI for fostering research and innovation in Green Highways. NGHM will also sign MoUs with JK Papers for undertaking plantation, management and sustainable harvesting activities along NHs; INBAR for promoting bamboo-based applications in Green Highways; World Bank for strengthening the Green Highways Programme.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has promulgated Green Highways (Plantations, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy – 2015 to undertake plantations along National Highways. For the quick rollout of the scheme, the National Green Highways Mission (NGHM) under National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the entire Green Highways programme for the ministry, NHIDCL & NHAI.