Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari, launched a nationwide plantation drive in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh yesterday.
Under the aegis of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, NHAI organized this drive to undertake the plantation of over 2.75 lakh saplings in one day through simultaneous plantations at more than 300 identified locations, along the National Highways including NHAI land parcels, toll plazas and Amrit Sarovars. Spreading the message of environmental sustainability the drive witnessed participation from public representatives, Civil society, NGOs and students.
In his address Shri Nitin Gadkari said this initiative aligns with the Green India Mission (GIM) led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, aiming to convert our National Highways into environmentally sustainable Green Highways. He said our commitment to this cause is unwavering as we diligently strive to compensate for every tree felled during road projects by planting twice the number of trees. Furthermore, we have achieved success in relocating fully grown and large trees, he added.
Shri Nitin Gadkari said this initiative serves as a concrete response to the challenges posed by climate change, as it simultaneously reduces carbon emissions and fosters the development of environmentally friendly infrastructure. He said that plantation and transplantation of trees have become an integral part of National Highway development. He said a lot of emphasis is also given to geotagging of trees so that the progress and growth of these plants can be monitored. He also called upon people to come forward and participate in the program to have a sustainable and long-lasting impact on the plantation drive.
Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Civil Aviation Gen. (Retd) Dr V.K. Singh and NHAI Chairman Shri Santosh Kumar Yadav also planted saplings near Eastern Peripheral Expressway Interchange at Dasna, Ghaziabad.
The plantation action plan is the focus area of the highway development program under which the local indigenous shrubs and trees are planted on surplus land of roadside avenue and median land or ROW. MoRTH promulgated Green Highway policy-2015, under this mandate, NHAI has planted 3.46 crore saplings from 2016-17 to 2022-23 as part of the Annual Plantation Action Plan. In the current year, over 56 lakh saplings are proposed to be planted which have started from monsoon season only.
The plantation and other allied activities which NHAI undertakes are in sync with the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister viz. Mission Life, Lifestyle For Environment, entails bringing individual human behaviour to the forefront of the global climate action narrative. Through its sustainable endeavour, NHAI plans to contribute for the creation of an ecosystem that will reinforce and enable environment-friendly behaviour to be self-sustainable.
NHAI has been organizing plantation drives from time to time to develop eco-friendly National Highways. The vision is to saturate plantations along the National Highways collectively by involving concessionaires, State Government agencies, private plantation agencies, Self-Help Groups through State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) and Forest and Horticulture experts.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by pib.