The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has developed a mobile App called ‘Harit Path’ to monitor location, growth, species details, maintenance activities, targets and achievements of each of its field units for each and every plant under all plantation projects. The app was inaugurated by the Union Minister for RTH Nitin Gadkari today.
According to an NHAI release, to commemorate 25 years of its service to the nation, it has also recently undertaken ‘Harit Bharat Sankalp’, a nation-wide plantation drive which is in line with its commitment to promote environment protection and sustainability. Under this initiative, NHAI planted over 25 lakh plants in 25 days along the stretches of the National Highways between 21st July to 15th August 2020. The drive takes the total cumulative number of plantations done during the current year to 35.22 lakh.
The nation-wide plantation drive has been actively taken up by NHAI’s regional offices to achieve the collective target of making greener national highways. Maximum number of over 5.0 lakh plants have been planted in Uttar Pradesh, followed by over 3.0 lakh in Rajasthan and 2.67 Lakh in Madhya Pradesh along the national highways. In order to ensure 100% survival of the plants, avenue plantation of minimum height of 1.5-meter have been emphasized along the national highway am
The Release says that in order to track the growth and health of the plants, photographs along with data of the plants captured using Harit Path shall be uploaded every 3 months on NHAI’s AI powered Big Data Analytics platform – Data Lake. Highway contractors shall be accountable for proper upkeep and maintenance of the plantation and liable to replace the missing/dead plants. Performance and growth of the plants shall be linked to the payment to the contractors for this work.
After launch of the app, NHAI has immediately started work to create user ids of over 150 ROs/ PDs/ Horticulture experts. Apart from this, around 7800 plants have also been geo-tagged using the toda
NHAI has been undertaking plantation drives from time to time to develop eco-friendly National Highways and has constantly addressed ecological concerns by adopting environment-friendly methods. In the year 2020, NHAI plans to undertake a sustained plantation drive. The vision is to plant 72 Lakh plants along NH stretches collectively with concessionaire, State Government agencies and private plantation agencies. In addition, NHAI is engaging experts from the plantation, forestry, agriculture, horticulture with vast field experience. Two professionals with suitable background and experience are being engaged for each of its regional offices. For proper supervision of plantation in each project, horticulture experts are also being engaged. Apart from plantation, NHAI is also emphasizing on transplantation of trees which are required to be axed for development of highway projects.
NHAI has identified the NH stretches and is creating a data base of all the plantations already done and to be done on these stretches. The launch of ‘Harit Path’, mobile app will further facilitate creation of Green Highways across the country.