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Green Highway Policy

Green highway is a new concept that includes a roadway design integrating the functionalities of transport and ecological sustainability.

The aim of which is to help the environment, help local communities, and generate employment by planting trees along all the highways in the country.

Following are the key features of the policy:

• 1 per cent 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 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 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.

Benefits

The Green Highway Policy will help in making India pollution free. It will also help in curtailing the number of road accidents in India.
The vision of the policy is to provide dignified employment to local people and communities.
The implementation of new Green Highways Policy can help in bridging the forest gap.
The National Forest Policy envisages 33 per cent of the geographical area should be under forest or tree cover, but the notified forest cover is only about 22 per cent.
For all new projects, the land that is required for plantation purpose will be part of the detailed project report itself, thus, avoiding land acquisition trouble in future.
The green cover will also become one of the parameters to rate the national highway or state highways in future.

Practice question:

1. Which of the following is/are the goals of Green India Mission?
1. Eco-restoration/afforestation of ravines and abandoned mining areas.
2. Improvement in forest and tree cover in urban/peri-urban lands.
3. To enhance eco-system services like carbon sequestration and storage.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a) 1 and 2

b) Only 2

c) 2 and 3

d) All

Ans: d
Exp: The Mission goals are as listed below:
• To increase forest/tree cover to the extent of 5 million hectares (mha) and improve quality of forest/tree cover on another 5 mha of forest/non-forest lands; Separate sub-targets exists for different forest types and ecosystems (eg. Wetland, grassland, dense forest etc.).
• Eco-restoration/afforestation of scrub, shifting cultivation areas, cold deserts, mangroves, ravines and abandoned mining areas (1.8 m ha) with separate sub –targets for each one of those.
• Improvement in forest and tree cover in urban/peri-urban lands (0.20 m ha
• Improvement in forest and tree cover on marginal agricultural lands/fallows and other non-forest lands under agro-forestry / social forestry (3 m ha)
• To improve/enhance eco-system services like carbon sequestration and storage (in forests and other ecosystems), hydrological services and biodiversity; along with provisioning services like fuel, fodder, and timber and non-timber forest produces (Minor forest produces or MFPs) etc which are expected to result from the treatment of 10 m ha;
• To increase forest based livelihood income

 

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