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Highway to Green: India Paves the Way with Trees

In a revelation that has the nation’s commuters both bemused and hopeful, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, laid out an extensive roadmap for the facelift of India’s National Highways (NHs). From the traditional patchwork of repairs to an ambitious green makeover, India’s highways are set to redefine the commute experience.

Under the meticulous care of various contractors and concessionaires, the NHs, alongside their bridges and structures, are undergoing a transformation. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill maintenance. We’re talking about a full-scale beauty regimen that includes everything from Operation, Maintenance and Transfer (OMT) contracts to Performance-Based Maintenance Contracts (PBMC) and even Short-Term Maintenance Contracts. But it doesn’t stop there. Toll, Operate & Transfer concessions are also part of the mix, ensuring that every inch of the highway system receives the attention it deserves.

But wait, there’s more! The highways are not just being maintained; they’re being monitored with an eagle eye. Thanks to both visual and equipment-based inspections, evaluations, and monitoring, the structural integrity of the NHs, including bridges, is kept in check. Some VIP bridges even enjoy real-time structural health monitoring. And to top it off, the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) has been sanctioned for an even closer watch on these critical assets.

However, the most visually striking aspect of this highway overhaul is the Green Highways Policy of 2015. Aimed at beautifying the NH corridors, this initiative promises to turn bland highways into picturesque green belts. With plantation activities in full swing across the country’s right-of-ways, the journey on the NHs is poised to be as refreshing to the soul as it is swift to the destination.

In a statement that had lawmakers chuckling and nodding in agreement, Gadkari presented this ambitious plan in the Lok Sabha today. It seems the days of dodging potholes might soon be replaced by leisurely drives through lush landscapes. India’s highways are on a beauty regimen, and the nation’s travelers are here for it.

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