Mains Practice Question


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How does “green road” construction foster environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development in the Himalayas?
A Simple Introduction about Green Roads
Green roads refer to roads and transportation infrastructure that are designed, constructed, and maintained with a focus on environmental sustainability, minimizing ecological impact, and promoting biodiversity conservation. These roads aim to integrate ecological principles into their planning, design, construction, and maintenance processes to reduce their carbon footprint, preserve natural habitats, and enhance overall environmental quality. 
It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

Green road construction is pivotal for promoting environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development in the Himalayas, considering its significance as a lifeline in this remote and ecologically sensitive region.

  • Economic and Social Importance: Roads are vital for fostering economic growth and livelihood development in the Himalayas, providing access to remote areas and connecting communities to essential services and markets.
  • Objectives of Green Roads: Green roads prioritize sustainability and aim to minimize environmental impact while promoting biodiversity conservation. They serve as a pathway towards achieving green growth goals in mountainous regions.
  • Environmental Considerations: Green road construction focuses on preventing slope destabilization and minimizing disruption to the fragile mountain ecosystem. Techniques such as Environmental Friendly Road Construction (EFRC) are adopted to minimize vegetation loss and soil erosion.
  • Lessons from Bhutan: Bhutan offers valuable insights into EFRC approaches, emphasizing techniques like the "cut and carry" method over conventional "cut and throw" practices. This approach preserves vegetation cover and protects slopes from erosion.
  • Integrated Planning and Design: Green road design incorporates measures to mitigate environmental impact, including spoil disposal sites, drainage structures, and erosion control measures like crib walls and gabion walls. This integrated approach ensures minimal disruption to the natural environment.
The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

Green road construction in the Himalayas presents an opportunity for environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development. While initial investments may be higher, the long-term benefits, including reduced maintenance costs, fewer road blockages, and preservation of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage, outweigh the upfront expenses. By embracing green road construction methods, policymakers can pave the way for resilient and sustainable development in the Himalayan region.

Other Points to Consider 

Green Highways


Previous Year Questions

1. How are the fjords formed? Why do they constitute some of the most picturesque areas of the world? (2023)

2. In what way can floods be converted into a sustainable source of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India? (2017)


05-Apr 2024