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Roads are green highway opportunities: Nitin Gadkari

Roads must be viewed as ‘green highway opportunities,’ road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.

“Aside from the environmental and aesthetic aspects, roads have a huge potential to generate jobs and thus benefit the rural economy,” said the minister while addressing a workshop on ‘Transplantation along national highways,’ in New Delhi. “It may even be linked with the NREGA scheme.”

Gadkari urged interested investors to take up experimental projects. “If needed, we will provide technology and financial support as well to the selected agency,” he said. “As an incentive three winners from each state every year will also be awarded for exemplary work.” 

He also urged research institutes like TERI to share its inputs on transplantation techniques. He suggested that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) could utilise materials like sand and soil by digging in areas along the highway. Villages would benefit as this would create the much needed ponds and lakes for rural economies. 

Raghav Chandra, chairman, NHAI said it had set aside 1% of its project cost for transplantation, plantation, beautification and maintenance.