| Code: 64615 |

TIN news:        The Indian Road and Transport Ministry is launching a new Green Highways policy, under which it proposes to allocate 1% of the total cost of road constructions in the country towards plantations.
 
Under this policy will be launched on September 29, if the 96,000km network of National Highways (NHs) will have investments worth Rs100bn ($1bn) this year, 1% of this amount (Rs10bn) will be invested in the policy.
 
The government plans to use the funds to grow bushes and trees along the highways in three layers. The first layer will have bushes, followed by medium-sized trees and then taller trees.
 
Transport and Highways secretary Vijay Chhibber said: "The purpose of this policy is to promote the greening of highway corridors with the participation of the local community, including local contractors and the local forest department."
"The purpose of this policy is to promote the greening of highway corridors with the participation of the local community."
 
The projects will be awarded on stretches between 8km and 10km. Pilot projects will be undertaken in each state based on the interest shown by the local community.
 
The greenery work will be allocated to through bidding, which is open for government or private companies, and non-governmental organisations.
 
The winning contractors will be closely monitored with strict targets. The minimum survival rate of the plantations will be set at 90%, and the contractors would be paid only after reaching this milestone.
 
The Hindu reported the ministry as saying: "The benefits are manifold."
 
"The community will gain in terms of huge employment opportunities and entrepreneurship development, and there will be huge environmental benefits also.
 
"The local community will get the rights to the non-timber produce from the trees."

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