Maharashtra government’s Heritage Trees protection program for tree protection
Recently an amendment to the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975 to bring in the concept of “heritage-trees” was approved in a meeting of the Maharashtra Government.
What are ‘Heritage Trees’?
Old trees that are about 50 years old or more are defined as ‘Heritage Trees’.
Provisions of the proposed amendment:
- Special Protection: With the concept of ‘Heritage Tree’, special protection will be provided to the heritage tree.
- Compensatory plantation: On cutting down a ‘heritage tree’, a number of new trees will have to be planted equal to the age of the cut tree and the protection of these new trees will also have to be ensured for seven years and the trees have to be Geo-Tag. If for any reason compensatory plantation is not possible, then the fellers will have to pay compensation equal to the economic value of the trees being cut.
- Tree Authority: As per the proposed amendments, ‘Tree Authority’ will be constituted in the local municipal bodies and councils. This authority will take all decisions regarding the conservation of trees.
- The authority, along with the counting of ‘heritage trees’, will also ensure the counting of all trees every 5
- The Tree Authority has been entrusted with the task of “increasing tree cover in urban areas and protecting existing trees”. The task of the authority is also to ensure that 33% of the government land is used for plantation.
Source : The Hindu