For the construction of the Green National Highway Corridors Project (GNHCP), the Government of India (GOI) and the World Bank have signed an agreement, informed Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, on Wednesday.
The total length of the project will be 781 km. It will pass from Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh. The total project cost will be US$1288.24 million (Rs 7,662.47 crore). Loan assistance will be US $500 million. The objective of the GNHCP is to demonstrate green and safe highways keeping in view climate resilience and the use of green technologies by incorporating the provisions of conservation of natural resources using cement-treated sub-base/reclaimed asphalt pavement, use of local material such as fly ash, waste plastic, lime, bio-engineering measures for slope protection such as hydroseeding, coco/jute fibre, etc. It will enhance the ability of the ministry to bring green technologies into the mainstream.
Key features of Green Highways Policy 2015
Across the country, promote greening and development of eco-friendly National Highway corridors with the participation of the private sector, farmers, and government institutions including the Forest Department. It will pave the way toward sustainable development.
Along the National Highways, to reduce the impact of air pollution and dust by planting shrubs and trees. They will not only act as a natural sink for air pollutants but also arrest soil erosion at the embankment slopes.
Contracts for greening highways will be given to agencies, NGOs, private companies, and government organisations. For the survival and health of trees, these stakeholders will be responsible. However, in any particular area, the planting of trees will depend on soil suitability and climatic conditions.
There will be a monitoring agency responsible for monitoring the plantation status continuously. It will carry out the site visit for field verification to check the survival, growth, and size of the plantation and maintenance of the same.
Annually, a performance audit of executing agencies will be conducted. Based on their past performance audit, new contracts will be awarded to the agencies.