Highways, roads to go green in Himachal

Shimla, July 2 (Calcutta Tube) Highways in Himachal Pradesh are all set to go green with the government planning to start a massive plantation drive this month along the major roads, an official said here Friday.

‘To make the roads in the state commuter’s delight, we are going to introduce the concept of blooming highways,’ a government spokesperson told IANS.

‘Three lakh saplings of different varieties of trees, including ornamental shrubs, will be planted alongside all the national highways and major roads July 15-Aug 31,’ he said.

The state Public Works Department will carry out the drive. The official said special patches have been identified alongside the major roads for plantations.

‘Preference will be given to herbal and ornamental plants like the bougainvillea during the plantation drive,’ he added.

Himachal Pradesh has launched a number of community-driven plantation schemes in the past two years.

People across the state planted more than 1.5 million saplings on a single day Aug 3, 2008, under a programme called Jan Jan Sanjivani.

In 2009-10, the government planted over 10 million saplings of medicinal species by involving the people in two plantation schemes – Sanjha Van, Sanjeevni Van and Apna Van, Apna Dhan.

According to the state forest report of 2005 published by the Forest Survey of India, Himachal Pradesh has 14,752 sq km forest area, out of which 1,097 sq km is very dense forest.

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