21st November, 2018

Green Highways Policy

Overview

  • Highways are the growth engines of economic development in India. Indian National Highways account for only 2 % of the paved roads carrying 40% of the automobile traffic. The incessant movement of vehicles on these highways emits gas and pollutants and is a major source of air and noise pollution. Besides, clearance of forest and tree felling activities for developing highways result in large scale environmental degradation.
  • For neutralizing these adverse effects and sustaining surrounding biodiversity, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) unveiled the Green Highways Policy (GHP) – 2015 on 29th September, 2015 with the objective of developing integrated green corridors (resilient ecosystems) along developed and upcoming National Highways(NH) in the form of median and avenue plantations.
  • The Green Highways Project will undertake plantation, transplantation, beautification, landscaping and maintenance activities along 1 lakh kilometers of NH with the vision to develop eco-friendly National Highways for economic growth and sustainable development.
  • The project will see participation of community, farmers, NGOs, private sector, institutions, government agencies and the Forest Department.
  • National Green Highways Mission (NGHM) under National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been appointed as the nodal agency for overall planning, implementation and monitoring of Green Highways Projects.
  • The Green Highways Projects phase-1 spans across 10 states and covers 25 National Highways. The ongoing / upcoming Green Highways Projects Phase-1 can be respectively viewed in the following two sites: http://nationalgreenhighways.org/ongoing-national-highway-development-project / http://nationalgreenhighways.org/upcoming-green-highway-projects-in-india.

 Salient features

  • GHP-2015 has mandated that all the upcoming highways projects will feature project reports for integrated green corridor development including details of land requirement for tree plantation and allied activities.
  • To ensure quality plantation and maintenance, every 1% of the total project costs of all new national highway projects will go to the ‘Green Highways Fund to be used for funding the green corridor development.
  • For any green belt development, plantation of tree/shrub species shall be selected based on its ecological importance (higher pollution attenuation capacity), economic value, road safety and aesthetics. Plantation pattern shall be as per the Plantation Species Matrix, which has been developed for identifying/selecting suitable native tree/shrub species for roadside plantation. Please refer to Section 6.2 of the GHP guidelines for details http://nationalgreenhighways.org/downloads/Guidelines-for-Green-Highways-Project.pdf.
  • All new highways projects or road widening of existing highways will have a separate report chapter on transplantation plan, documenting details of plants/trees to be transplanted and transplantation methodologies.
  • The landscaping activities shall be planned to highlight the aesthetics of sites having cultural and historical importance.
  • The project report of all new highways projects will have a maintenance schedule of 5 years with year-wise expected outcomes for all trees planted. Please refer to Section 6.2.8 of scheme guidelines for details.
  • Remedial measures will be undertaken to improve the quality and quantity of plantations along already developed national highways if the status of roadside plantation is found unsatisfactory after assessment.
  • Vacant land parcels near flyovers and road alignments shall be considered for high-density commercial plantations.
  • Green Highways Mission is expected to plant approximately 10 Crore quality seedlings/saplings in the next 10 years.
  • The National Green Highways Mission aims to become self-sustainable in a period of 10 years.
  • The plantation projects under Green Highways Project will be monitored for effective implementation by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU)/Regional Office (RO).

 Benefits

  • The National Green Highways (NGH) Projects will help in combating global warming and climate change effects by bringing approximately 4 lakh acre land under vegetation cover in the next 10 years. Green corridors work as vegetation buffer around the pollution source and help in absorption of greenhouse gases and collection of dust particles.
  • The planting of trees/grass/shrubs shall help in sequestering greenhouse gases to the tune of 3 MT C/ac/yr1 which amounts to annual sequestration capacity of 12 lakh MT carbon/yr. This will go a long way in fulfilling India’s commitment at CoP 21 summit for voluntary carbon reduction of up to 35 % by 2030.
  • Plantation and allied activities under NGH projects require large manual workforce. As such, the projects will help in generating sustained employment for 1 lakh semi/unskilled workers for minimum 250 days a year for the next 10 years.
  • The mission is expected to create a platform for research and innovation in Green Pathways sector including roads, waterways and railways.
  • The highways developed as green corridors will not only sustain biodiversity and regenerate natural habitat but also benefit all stakeholders, from road users to local communities and spur eco-friendly economic growth and development.
  • Rare, Endangered and Threatened (RET) tree/shrub species of specific region shall be planted for their conversation outside their natural habitat.
  • NGH Projects will help in reducing the impact of air, noise pollution and dust as trees are known to be natural sink for air pollutants.
  • Tree avenue, grass and shrub plantation will moderate the effects of wind and incoming UV radiation and the danger of soil erosion at embankment slopes. It will also provide shade on hot glaring roads during peak summers.
  • Plants along highway median strips and road edges act as a screen to prevent glare from the headlights of incoming vehicles which sometimes become cause of accidents.

 How to Apply

 People’s Participation in greening National Highways

  •  Nursery owners who seek to exhibit their ornamental plants, corporate entities interested to promote plantation activities under CSR initiative and Voluntary organization can take up roadside plantation for national highways passing through urban areas. MoU will be signed with Regional Offices (NHAI/MoRTH) with such individuals/agencies.
  • Highways can be adopted by individuals, organizations or companies. Citizens/farmers can take up boundary plantation and management on their own property adjacent to National Highways. For details, please visit: http://nationalgreenhighways.org/green-highway-program.php
  • Corporate entities, institutions and the general public can donate funds for Green Funds under NGHM.
  • You can work on contractual basis for the implementation of Green Highways Projects. For vacancies please visit: http://nationalgreenhighways.org/about.php?terms=vacancies.
  • Students can enroll for NGHM internship programs for sharing skills and gaining useful experience in Green Highways Projects. For details, please visit: http://nationalgreenhighways.org/nghm-internship-program.php.

 Relevant Link

You can find detailed information at:

The list of empanelled agencies registered for conducting plantation and allied activities under NGHM can be found here:

http://nationalgreenhighways.org/empanelment-status.php

Contact Information

National Green Highways Mission
First Floor, NHAI Extension (MTNL) Building,
Sector-19, Dwarka
New Delhi - 110 075
Landline number - 011-28042449
Email-id - nationalgreenhighways@gmail.com

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Name Designation Contact Details
Dr. Ajoy K. Bhattacharya Mission Director 011-28042449 Extn – 3071
Anuj Sharma DGM 011-28042449 Extn- 3007
Dr. Satish Tyagi Consultant  
Induja Rai Advisor  
Sudhanshu Shekhar Manager-Project & Planning  
Rakesh Singh Kanyal Manager-Plantation  
Ajit Yadav Technical Assistant  
Shipra Maitra Technical Assistant  
Jensu John Executive Assistant Mobile No. +917838341561 Landline - 011-28042449 Extn – 3003
Gaurav Bisht Executive Assistant