“SENIOR” TREES GETTING PENSION
Haryana, 19th June 2021;
In a one of its kind scheme, Trees that are more than 75 years old in the state of Haryana is getting a pension amounting to Rs 2500. The scheme is named as Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme and was inaugurated by the Honourable Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar.
In the scheme the pension shall be given by the Urban Local Bodies department for the upkeep of the trees, installing plates, grilles, etc. The pension shall continue to increase every year, on lines similar to the Old Age Samman Pension Scheme in the state. The pension shall be given by the Urban Local Bodies department to the person on whose land the trees are growing.VS Tanwar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Haryana told The Pioneer, “Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme”, a brainchild of Forest Minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar aims at protecting old trees for their natural and cultural significance. Despite their significant role in the ecosystem, the decades-old trees are often overlooked in habitat conservation programs.”According to the State’s Forest Department, there are at least 2,500 trees in Haryana that have attained an age of 75 years or more.
To put in place a legal mechanism to identify inventories, protect, and conserve such old trees, the Forest Department has also prepared draft Haryana (Declaration, Protection, and Preservation) Heritage Tree Rules 2021. Under the rules when a tree is notified as “heritage” in the state, any person or organization that cut fell or cause any damage to the heritage tree will be liable for punishment with a fine which may extend to Rs 500 or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or both, as per the provisions of draft Heritage Tree Rules.
The scheme is a stepping stone in bringing a shared responsibility in the protection of the life-giving trees in society, Thus leading to more effective and efficient protection of these trees.
Written by Amil
Research Intern, Stambh Organisation India