Last week I had to take my family to Ottawa, ON in Canada. Due to summer peak season, the air travel was bit expensive and therefore decided to go by car. It is about 550 Miles (800 Kms) from Washington DC. It took me about 8 hours of driving time besides the breaks that usually goes with traveling with children making it a 11-12 hours journey.
But I must confess that both ways though I alone drove the car for 10-12 hrs, but didn't felt any tiredness or fatigue. The reason for this pleasant drive was the scenic route that I took and picturesque surroundings of the highways. The entire stretch of Route I-81 is very picturesque and passes through vineyards of Syracuse, New York.
Why I am writing this post? Take a look at these pictures. It is a 2-lane highway with trees on both sides. Unlike here in India, tress found on both sides are planted in dense. This makes the highways pleasant and beautiful to drive. Can we build such highways that are pleasant and beautiful to drive?
Added to that every 50-70 miles there are are 'Rest Areas' maintained by state highway departments. And in addition every exit to towns and hamlets usually has Gas/Food outlets also sports clean and tidy 'Toilets'.
During a conversation on FB with Manivannan after he was transferred to 'Karnataka State Highway Improvement Project', KSHIP, Srinidhi and myself raised a point to plantation of trees on highways developed by KSHIP. But as usual, the official reply from his officers is that trees don't survive and question of taking care after they were planted.
It is true that there is very low rate of survival of saplings planted, inquiry here in US reveals that for every 1 tree they plant 10 tress. For about 1 acre, they roughly plant 1000 saplings to get about 100 trees. The result is seen in above pictures.
If US and Canada can do it, I am sure we in India can also make an attempt to revitalize our green cover. Not long ago our highways too were donned by trees on both sides. Now every tree and bush has been cut and cleaned for firewood and fodder purposes.