12 June 2021.
Maharashtra Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray cleared an action plan to protect ancient and old trees aged 50 years and above in urban areas.
About Heritage Tree
- Cabinet approved the action plan to implement ‘Heritage Tree’ concept in Maharashtra.
- This action plan was proposed by Environment Department headed by Aaditya Thackeray.
- Action plan amends Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Tree Protection and Conservation Act, 1975.
- Amendment will help in safeguarding green cover across urban landscapes and would also provide a robust mechanism to protect heritage trees.
About the amendments
- Under the amendment, government will introduce “concept of Heritage Trees” and age of trees for their protection and preservation.
- It will also ensure compensatory plantation which will have a net positive impact.
- It proposes common land for plantation to be reserved and scientific methods like Miyawaki plantation should be followed.
- Fines and penalties are being revised and maximum limit has been kept at up to Rs 1 lakh per tree.
- With the aim of protecting significant number of trees, Maharashtra government will set up “Maharashtra State Tree Authority”. Authority will define utilisation of tree cess.
- A tree expert will be a part of local Tree Authority to give expert opinion.
- Chief officer of municipal council will be chairman of Tree Authority.