An almost 300-years-old banyan tree on Mehrauli Badarpur road has found a saviour in Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. She has asked officials to initiate a procedure to save and possibly declare it as a 'heritage tree'.
Hindustan Times had on January 6 published a report about the centuries old banyan tree, probably the oldest in Delhi. However, due to the apathy of various government agencies and negligence by the local community, the tree at the T-junction of Tughlaqabad village road and Mehrauli Badarpur road, is left with a poor canopy and a diseased trunk.
Shikharchand Jain, a property dealer from Hauz Khas, drew Dikshit's attention and urged her to declare it as 'heritage tree'. He also requested that the government construct a protective wall around it and display an information board.
Dikshit told HT, "All trees are precious and specially this one as it is more than 100 years old. So it is definitely a heritage tree. If it is not damaged fully, steps need to be taken to look after it."
Varun Kapoor, consultant (Public Welfare) at the CM's office, said, "A status position in this regard may be sent to this office for perusal of the CM.”
DM Shukla, chief conservator of forest, said, "I have already instructed the deputy forest officer to inspect the tree. We would soon send the status report to the chief minister."