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‘Great Banyan Tree’ in Fatehgarh Sahib to be Punjab’s 1st biodiversity heritage site

The tree is approximately 300 years’ old, spread over 3.5-acre land....

The sprawling Kaya Kalp Vriksh (Great Banyan Tree) at the remote village of Cholti Kheri , Khera Mandal block, Fatehgarh Sahib district, will be the first biodiversity heritage site of Punjab, as the state government has decided to issue a notification in this regard.

The Punjab Biodiversity Board (PBB) has finalised a proposal to get the site of this tree listed as a biodiversity heritage site (BHS) for its conservation and management under Section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act (BDA), 2002.

The tree is situated on private land, but owners of the land have willingly given their land for declaration of the tree as a heritage site.

The tree is approximately 300 years’ old, spread over 3.5-acre land. The ‘magical’ tree represents a complete ecosystem supporting rich biodiversity, including peacocks, owls and many other birds, reptiles such as snakes, monitor lizards, garden lizards, insects, arthropods, millipedes, nematodes, epiphytes, bryophytes, fungi, algae and lichens. The site is being conserved and managed with the active support of Fatehgah Sahib district administration and the Biodiversity Management Committee set up by the Board.