Nagpur: The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has approved a pilot project submitted by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways, said a press-note.
The project will be implemented on a 5-km stretch on NH-7 between Jam and Hinganghat in Nagpur region at an estimated cost of Rs.11.80 crore . Around 20,000 trees of scientifically chosen species are proposed to be planted on both sides of this stretch in multiple rows. Work activities have been delineated considering two major factors :
(a) Highway requirement and objectives
· Traffic frequency
· Available space
· Soil type
· Water availability
· Climatic conditions
· Anthropogenic interference
(b) Plant characteristics to fit in the site requirement
· Canopy cover
· Air pollution Tolerance Index
The project will run for 5 years, and during this period various experiments will be conducted in NEERI laboratory to record the impact of greenbelt development. Besides developing greenbelt, the project will also assist in developing relevant research infrastructure that may be used for similar studies in future.