The government will in the next fortnight announce a policy for plantation and transplantation of trees along the national highways.
The new policy will pave the way for appointment of contractors, much like the way road developers are appointed, for doing the job, which will also help create employment and reduce the level of pollution along the highways.
“The new policy will be announced in the next 15 days. Contractors will be asked to plat trees which are suitable to the weather in a particular stretch. In stretches where trees can’t be planted, flowers can be tried,” road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari told FE.
India has the world’s second largest road network at 33 lakh km consisting of 92,815 km national highways and 1,31,899 km state highways among others. National Highways constitute only about 1.7% of the network, but carry about 40% of the total road traffic.
“The job of plantation and transplantation of trees across the highways is currently done by the developers who develop the roads. However, I think, the job is not properly done. Hence, we are coming with a policy soon to appoint contractors for doing the job,” he added.
The minister said 150-200 contractors could be roped in for doing the plantation and maintenance works.
Meanwhile, on the National Green Tribunal’s ban on over ten-year-old diesel vehicles in the national capital, he said the Centre would approach the Supreme Court in a couple of days and seek at least six months’ time, as two weeks by NGT is grossly insufficient.