Green Highways Policy-2015

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News:Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has informed Lok Sabha about the details of the Green Highways Policy-2015.

Facts:

About Green Highways Policy-2015:

  • Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy was announced in the year 2015.
  • The policy aims to reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along the National Highways.They will act as a natural sink for air pollutants and arrest soil erosion at the embankment slopes.
  • It also aims to promote greening and development of eco-friendly National Highway corridors across the country with participation of farmers, private sector and government institutions including Forest Department.

Features of the policy:

  • 1 percent of the total project cost of all highways projects will be kept for the highway plantation and its maintenance. 
  • About Rs.1000 crore per year will be available for plantation purpose. 
  • The policy will generate employment opportunities for about five lakh people from rural areas. 
  • There will be strong monitoring mechanism in place by using ISRO’s Bhuvan and GAGAN satellite systems.Every planted tree will be counted and auditing will be done.

Implementation:

  • The National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) will act as a fund manager for maintaining a green fund and releasing payments based on recommendation of concerned officials and agencies.
  • The contracts for greening highways will be given to NGOS, agencies, private companies and government organisations. These stakeholders will be responsible for the survival and health of trees.

Significance of the policy:

  • The policy provides comprehensive guidelines to ensure uniformity of operations pertaining to enhancement of highway landscapes. 
  • The communities will also be benefitted in terms of huge employment opportunities and entrepreneurship development.
  • There will also be huge environmental benefits from this policy.
  • The policy will also help in making India pollution free.It will also help in curtailing the number of road accidents in India.

Additional information:

About NHAI:

  • The National Highways Authority of India was constituted under National Highways Authority of India Act,1988.It is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • It is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of National Highways entrusted to it and for matters connected or incidental there.