The Maharashtra Cabinet has passed an action plan to protect and preserve trees older than 50 years in urban areas by terming them heritage trees.
- Few important criteria for considering a tree as a “heritage tree” are: size, shape, rarity, aesthetical/historical values, association with historic person, place, or even myths.
- A certain species need not be native to an area for this tag.
- The provisions included in the plan are the concept of heritage trees and a plan of action for conservation, methods to define the age of the tree, rules to be followed before hacking trees, etc.
- It will include planting the number of trees equivalent to the age of trees to be cut.
- The saplings need to be six to eight feet in height while planting and they will undergo geo-tagging with seven years of caring period.
- The option of monetary compensation has also been given, instead of the compensatory plantation.
- State-level Tree Authority: The authority will be formed to protect and preserve heritage trees.
- Tree Census: It will ensure that the tree census is conducted after every five years.
- Land Use: Ensuring that 33% of government land is used for tree plantation.