New Delhi : Development of National Highways involves cutting of trees in the Right of Way acquired by MoRTH. It is, however, ensured that the bare minimum tree felling is carried out for widening of existing National Highways.
Tree felling is carried out either by Forest Department, Forest Corporation or by the Contractor after obtaining tree felling permission from the appropriate authorities under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and local laws from forest and the non-forest area. Data on trees cut is maintained at project level.
To compensate the ecological loss, median and road side plantation is being carried out either by the contractor as a scope of agreement or through Forest Department as deposit work. In addition, plantation job is also being carried out by privates Agencies /NGO through competitive bidding, apart from the compensatory afforestation carried out by the Forest Department for statutory compliance under FCA 1980 and local Law.
Total number of plants planted by NHAI along the National Highways from 2017-2018 to 2021-22 (till October, 2021) is 223.94 lakhs.
55.10 lakh plants have been planted in 94 projects, completed by March 2021.
This information was given by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.