AMN / NEW DELHI
The National Green Tribunal has directed the National Highway Authority of India, NHAI, to maintain the mandatory green cover along national and state highways in order to maintain ecological balance.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also directed the Delhi government, the Haryana and Rajasthan governments to ensure plantation on government land on both sides of NH-1 and NH-8.
The NGT has asked the state governments and all local authorities to issue directions to all group housing societies, commercial plots and land that is allotted by the state government for any office, residential block, that they would plant trees along their boundaries and raise green beltsaround buildings and public parks.
The NHAI assured the tribunal that it would follow the Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy, 2015 in true spirit and substance.
The Indian road network of 33 lakh kms is the second largest in the world and stretches to about 96,000 kms of NHs, which constitutes only 1.7 per cent of the road network but carries about 40 per cent of the total road traffic.