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National Highway to be turned green in Punjab; Forest Dept inks pact with NHAI

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SAS Nagar, July 27, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
In a bid to green National Highways across Punjab a joint massive plantation drive has been launched by Punjab Forest Department with the collaboration of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). This drive was formally initiated by signing a MOU between Punjab Forest Department and NHAI today to green these barren strips along National Highways under Green Highways Mission project.

While briefing, Mr. V.B. Kumar, IFS, PCCF (HoFF) informed that this project aims to bring lands acquired by NHAI under plantation so as to increase productivity of this land, to add to ecosystem services along Highways and hence transform them to lush Green linear Forests.

The formal collaboration between the two agencies started with the first plantation project (2020-21) on NH 54 (Amritsar-Pathankot Section) undertaken by Forest Department at the behest of NHAI, which has given fruitful results in the form of successful plantation on the aforesaid NH thereby paving the way for future collaboration on same line through formal means.

Giving information about this project he said we shall be taking up plantation on five National Highways across the state where we intend to plant 1,36,842 saplings during current plantation season during financial year 2021-22 and ensure its subsequent aftercare by doing various maintenance operations.

Total financial outlay for this project is 25.42 crores out of which 20.37 crores will be utilized during current financial year for doing various earthworks, Plantation, it’s aftercare and its protection through barbed wire and tree guards. The plantation will be jointly monitored through IT enabled apps and wherever possible QR code will be shared for public disclosure/dissemination.

Forest Department shall be doing thematic plantation to give it an aesthetic look with Avenue lines having ornamental small to medium height firm rooted trees and subsequent rows of native species having timber, fruit, medicinal and ecological value. This shall simultaneously provide a good habitat to wild life especially birds and create a potential for bee keeping also.

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