NHAI fails to plant 40 lakh trees
As per the disclosure to an application filed under the RTI Act, it has come to notice that during the period of 10 years (between 2001 to June 30, 2011) the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) should have planted 52.62 lakh trees in lieu of 17.55 lakh it cut to widen 15,049 kms of road. However, it has planted just 11.43 lakh trees out of which many have not survived.
It has also been revealed that the NHAI has failed to follow the Indian Road Congress guidelines which prescribe that for every km of road, 666 ornamental plants and 168 shaded trees should be planted on both sides of the road. The state's social forestry department has prescribed a rate of Rs 1,201 per tree (with three-year maintenance) and by those standards, the NHAI would need over Rs 1,200 crore for planting the trees.
NHAI has been criticized for flouting the norms and not making proper provisions to enforce the environmental norms. It has also been reported that there are has no provisions for levy of penalty by the Ministry of Environment and Forest.