Friends International, a city-based biodiversity conservation NGO, has proposed sustainable and environment-friendly model for highways development.
The current practice of building highways involves excavation of hard strata to be used as bed material from nearby hillocks and highland ranges, which play crucial role in maintaining an ecological balance. These hillocks and highlands are key sources to control climate change impacts and free flow of water in rivers so one should avoid its extraction.
The NGO proposes extraction of roadside material at minimum distance of 8km from where soft strata may be used for filling pits for tree plantation and for median plantation, while hard strata beneath the upper soil can be used for road construction. The hollow land created this way will conserve rainwater and turn into ponds, thereby helping water harvesting. This will also help save hillocks. Water in tanks and ponds created can also be used by farmers for irrigation purpose.
They also suggest setting up of solar panels in the median area. Extensive use of solar power will help illuminate streets and excess energy can be used to operate agriculture pumps. It also suggests construction of highway malls at strategic places for travelers.