In order to compensate for the ecological loss due to the felling of trees for making roads, the National Highway Authority of India has planted over 2.23 crore plants all over the country, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari here on Wednesday.
He said the total number of plants planted by NHAI since 2017 is 2.23 crores and 55.1 lakh plants have also been planted in 94 highway projects completed by March 2021, the Minister said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
He said NHAI ensured that bare minimum tree felling is carried out for widening of existing National Highways. All the tree felling is carried out either by the Forest Department or Forest Corporation or by a contractor after obtaining tree felling permission from appropriate authorities.
To compensate for the ecological loss, median and roadside plantation is being carried out either by the contractor as a scope of agreement or through the Forest Department as deposit work. “In addition, plantation jobs are also being carried out by private agencies and NGOs through competitive bidding, apart from the compensatory afforestation carried out by the Forest Department for statutory compliance,” he said.