NHAI approves pilot project for developing greenbelts along National highways
National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) has approved a pilot project for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways. Proposal in this regard was submitted by Nagpur based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
The pilot project will be implemented on a 5 km stretch on NH-7 (Varanasi to Kanyakumari) between Jam and Hinganghat in Nagpur region. Around 20,000 scientifically chosen species of trees are proposed to be planted on both sides of this stretch in multiple rows at an estimated cost of 11 crore 80 lakh rupees. The project will run for five years’ time span. During this period various experiments will be conducted in NEERI laboratory to record the impact of greenbelt development. Work activities have been delineated considering two major factors such as Highway requirement and objectives along with Plant characteristics to fit in the site requirement. Highway requirement and objectives includes traffic frequency, available space, soil type, water availability, climatic conditions and anthropogenic interference Plant characteristics to fit in the site requirement would depend on height, canopy cover, air pollution Tolerance Index and sociability of selected species of trees. Besides developing greenbelt, the project will also assist in developing relevant research infrastructure that may be used for similar studies in future.