In a substantial push to shield trees and the atmosphere, the Maharashtra cabinet has authorized the formation of the Maharashtra Tree Authority which will be empowered to assure the protection of trees across the state. The Uddhav Thackeray headed cabinet in the identical meeting also authorized an amendment to the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975 following which trees older than 50 years will be classified as “heritage trees”, the Indian Express reported. The big overhaul in the atmosphere legislations in the state will want to be passed from the legislative assembly in its coming session as the choices for now have been authorized in the type of an ordinance.
Which trees will qualify as “heritage trees”?
As per the amendment passed by the cabinet, the tree which is around 50 years old or more will be classified as “heritage trees”. Once the tree has been classified as a ‘heritage tree”, it will be accorded more protection and it will be more difficult for a project developer to fell the heritage tree. In other words, projects that can’t do with no felling such trees will want to step up their compensatory afforestation. For instance, if an infra developer gets rid of a 52 year “heritage tree”, she will want to plant 52 new plants which are at least 6-8 feet higher at the time of planting. As per the amendment, the newly planted trees will also be taken care of by the identical entity for at least 7 years and survival of all such trees will want to be ensured for the identical period.
In case, the entity is unable to take a compensatory afforestation in lieu of felling the trees then the monetary compensation for cutting the “heritage tree” will be substantially greater.
Other important provisions
The newly constituted Maharashtra Tree Authority will regulate the felling of trees for a variety of projects across the state. As per the new amendment any project that plans to reduce at least 200 trees(estimated to be 5 years old) will want to send the proposal to the Maharashtra Tree Authority and only following its sanction will the project move forward. On the other hand, proposals to reduce trees which are estimated to be significantly less than 5 years old will be vetted by the nearby municipal authorities, according to the new amendment. The nearby tree authority in collaboration with the Maharashtra Tree Authority will also conduct a census of all trees like the “heritage trees” each 5 years.
Environmentalists welcome new selection
The modifications authorized by the state cabinet will have a far-reaching positive influence on the state of atmosphere if implemented in appropriate spirit, a number of environmentalists told the Indian Express. Green activist Zoru Bhathena told the Indian Express that the amendment has a number of great provisions but preceding initiatives like these have remained on paper. Bhathena also stated that the genuine implementation of the laws will really transform the state into a greener state. Another environmentalist D Stalin of NGO Vanshakti told the Indian Express that the laws authorized by the government are far far better than preceding legislations on the topic.