In a bid to promote awareness about the state's flora, the Maharashtra administration has decided to assign heritage status to all trees in urban areas that have completed a life span of 50 years. Under the leadership of the Chief Minister, the state cabinet sanctioned amendments in the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, to include the idea of heritage trees.
Age determination plan to be worked out
"Any tree with an estimated age of 50 years or above, shall be classified as a 'heritage tree'. They may belong to specific species, which would be notified periodically," an official said. It has been planned that the Environment and Climate Change Department along with the Forest Department will work on a detailed scheme to lay out instructions for finding the age of a tree.
'Maharashtra Tree Authority' to be formed
It has been stated that a 'Maharashtra Tree Authority' will be set up to formulate policies for the protection of trees."In order to maintain and foster the green cover in the state's urban centres, we have passed the amendment that will safeguard the environment in all cities and provide a robust mechanism to protect heritage trees," said Tourism and Environment Minister.
While the current interventions are steps in the right direction, it is noteworthy that a large number of big and small trees were cut in the Aarey Colony for an MMRCL project, a year and a half ago. It was only after the widespread demands of the citizens that these activities were stopped. Thus, it is important to recognise the urgent needs of preservation and conservation.
- With inputs from IANS