The Capital's trees will soon get a special status. Delhi's tree authority has formed a committee to prepare a list of trees that can be considered as heritage properties. The committee - set up in 2007 for the protection of trees - will submit its list in two weeks for the authority to take a call on notification.
"Heritage trees will get a treatment similar to that accorded to protected monuments. In case of a conflict, building plans will have to be altered. It will be really difficult for a person or an agency to harm the special-status trees," said a member of the authority.
So which are the front-runners? "We're basically looking at species that have withstood the pressures and pollution of Delhi and are best suited for the local climate. They have to be bird-friendly, conducive to nesting and fruit-bearing."
Aesthetics is not a criterion. "Trees such as ashok and palm are not the contenders. Pilkhan, maulshree, kusum, kadam and some others may make the cut," he said.
"Around 200 trees die every year due to lack of proper upkeep. Such a special status will go a long way in improving the green protection," said a senior forest department official.