Department of Forestry

Forestry Department

Forestry in India has always been a matter of major environmental issue. A department of Indian government to look after the forestry in India which plans, promote, co-ordinate the environmental and forestry programs and policies, is the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

MoEF is the central government organization and a nodal agency to look after the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of India’s environmental and forestry policies and programmes. Primary concern of this department is the implementation of policies and programmes relating to conservation of India’s natural resources including its forests, its biodiversity, wildlife and lakes and rivers and also the prevention of pollution. This department of Indian ministry, while implementing these policies and programmes, look after the sustainable development and enhancement of human well-being.

The broad objective of the department of forestry is:

  • Conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife
  • Prevention and the control over increasing pollution
  • Afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas
  • Protection of environment
  • Ensuring the welfare of animals

In order to fulfil these objectives some of the set of legislative and regulatory measures have been taken, with an aim of preservation, conservation and protection of environment. Besides these measures, there are certain policies which guide the work of forest ministry. Some of them are: National Conservation Strategy and Policy statement on Environment and Development which comes into picture in 1992, National Forest Policy of 1988, Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution of 1992 and the National Environment Policy in 2006

Ministry of forests have various divisions which looks after various sensitive issues like department for control of pollution will look after the controlling of pollution, forest conservation and forest policy look after the forests and many more.

Similarly every state of India has its separate forests departments. These forests Departments are responsible for the management of forests and wildlife in the states. They work on the policies like Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and Forest (Conservation) Act 1980. The various activities undertaken by these departments include Forest Protection, Forest Development Works, Wildlife Management, Soil and Moisture Conservation Works, Forest Planning, Harvesting, Ecotourism activities, Research, Extension and Training.

India is one of the First countries in the world to have stated scientific management of its forests. But from last decades forest covers of India are declining at a very fast rate. India’s forests are not only facing threat from over mining also being ravaged due to illegal human encroachment. According to the new survey about 1.25 million hectare of forest land has been illegally occupied by humans. This is not only resulting in the decline of the forest cover but also harming the wild life. Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Chhattisgarh are the worst culprits in this regard.

Forest areas in Karnataka (96,014 hectares), Kerala (44,420 hectares), Gujarat (34,791 hectares), Maharashtra (85,388 hectares), Tamil Nadu (14,352 hectares) have been illegally occupied. Forests in the Western Ghat region states, including Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are also under threat of encroachment. The data is prepared based on the information provided by the state governments in 2010 and 2011 and 2012.

If we kept on exploiting the forest land, the natural inhabitant of the wild animals, then one day we will lose most of our wildlife. In order to maintain the balance in nature and to protect the forest land from uncontrolled human intervention departments of forestry are taking strict measures.

Government of Maharashtra

The government of Maharashtra, a state in the western India, is an elected government with 288 members in legislative assembly for the period of five years. Government of Maharashtra is comprised of 27 cabinet ministers and 10 ministers of state. Presently in 2012 Government of Maharashtra ruled by Congress party and chief minister Shree Prithviraj Chavan elected in November 2010 and governor is Mr. Kateekal Sankaranarayanan.

Local government of Maharashtra has the same general structure as of the local governance in India and is broadly categorized into, urban local government and rural local government.

Urban local Maharashtra Government

Urban local government further categorized into Municipal Corporation and municipal council.

Municipal Corporation governs the urban areas which are further divided into wards. Individual wards or group of wards have their separate governing body called as ward communities. There are 26 municipal corporations in Maharashtra which are- Mumbai, Thane, Mira-Bhayandar, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Vasai-Virar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Kolhapur, Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad, Solapur, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Malegaon, Jalgaon, Dhule, Aurangabad, Nanded-Waghala, Parbhani city, Latur, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur and Chandrapur.

Municipal council governs the smaller urban areas which can also be called as municipalities. Similarly municipal council are divided into wards and their respective ward council. Currently in Maharashtra there are 222 municipal councils.

Rural local Maharashtra Government

Like all the states of India rural government of Maharashtra is also based on Panchayati Raj system. This is 3 tier systems with Zila Parishad at the district level, blocks as the middle level and village council at the village level.

Zilla parishad works at the district level and it look after the rural areas of the districts. There are 33 Zilla parishad in Maharashtra, one each in every district.

Panchayat samiti works at the tehsil or taluka level. There are 355 panchayat samitis or block panchayat in Maharashtra.

They are also called as developmental blocks and workds between the various villages of the tehsil. They are the links between the Gram Panchayat and Zilla Parishad.

Gram panchayat works at the village level.There are 28813 gram panchayat in Maharashtra. Gram panchayat can work for a single village (ex. Village with more than 500 people) and also as group-gram panchayat for the 2 or more small villages.

Maharashtra government is well organized governmental system in which all the departments work in a synchronized way. Maharashtra is the state with the capital city Mumbai which is known to be the financial capital of India. The economy of Maharashtra is highest in India with 10.5. This is all because of the proper functioning of all the departments of Maharashtra government.

As precautions from scams, like the recent Adarsh society scam, government of Maharashtra has adopted online recruitment system for MPSC, Police, District and for other services.

Maharashtra is the first state to have its own e-governance policy to make all government services available to the citizens of India via electronic media. The target of the Maharashtra government is to bring 100 services online in one year to make the public closer to the government.

Maharashtra is one of the very important states of government of India. Hence it’s a very honourable thing for us if Maharashtra is number one state of India in development and improvements.

Forest in India

Jungles, the forest in India have always been an issue of controversies and a great worry. Due to uncontrolled cutting, mining and poaching, Indian forests cover is shrinking and so the wildlife. According to the Indian State of Forest Report, 2011, released by the Forest Survey of India on February 7, the total forest cover in the country is now at 6,92,027 sq Km. This accounts for 21.05 per cent of the total geographical area of India which was 23.02 per cent of total geographical area in 2010. India has lost 367 sq km of forest cover in the past two years.

India has a diverse range of forests and geographical conditions. From the rainforest of the Kerala to the alpines of the ladakh and from the desert of Rajasthan to the evergreen forests of the north east, diversity of forests can be seen. Soil profile, climate, topographical conditions and elevation are main factors to determine the types of forests. Forests can be classified according to their nature, composition, types of plant they contain, environment they thrive in and the relationship with the surrounding environment.

There are six major types of forest in India :

Tropical moist of forest in india

Tropic moist forests can be further classified into evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and littoral and swamp.

  • Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests are found in the south along the Western Ghats and the Nicobar and Andaman islands and all along the north-eastern region and Littoral and swamp forests are found along the Andaman and Nicobar Island and the delta area of Ganga and Brahmaputra while moist deciduous forests are present throughout India. Some of the common evergreen and semi-evergreen are jackfruit, betel nut, palm, jamun, mango. Examples of littoral and swamps are whistling pines, mangrove dates, palms, and bulletwood while moist deciduous are sal and teak, along with mango, bamboo, and rosewood.

Tropical dry forests

Tropical dry forests can be further categorized into dry deciduous, thorny forests and dry evergreen.

  • Dry deciduous forests are present in entire northern region with sal, acacia and bamboo etc. Comment trees are. Thorny forests are found in the black soil of north, west, south and east India with the main flora sal, acacia and bamboo. Dry evergreens are found in foothills of Himalaya and shivalik hills with pomegranate, olive and oleander as the major type of tree.

Montane subtropical forests

They are further sub divided into broad leaved forests and pine.

  • Broad leaved forests are present in eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats while Pine forests are present at the hills of Shivalik Hills, Western and Central Himalayas, Khasi, Naga, and Manipur Hills. Poonspar, cinnamon, rhododendron, and fragrant grass are the major types of plants of broad leaved forests and Chir, oak, rhododendron, and pine are the major plants of pine forests.

Mountain temperate of forest in india

These types of forests are sub-divided into dry, moist and wet forests.

  • Wet Mountain temperate forests are present on to the east of Nepal into Arunachal Pradesh and the Niligiri Hills, the higher reaches of Kerala with eucalyptus and rhododendron is the major flora while moist Mountain temperate forests are present from western to the eastern Himalayan with broad-leaved oak, brown oak, walnut, rhododendron and various ferns and bamboos.

Sub Alpine forests

These forests extend from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. Most predominant flora is juniper, rhododendron, willow, black currant, red fir, black juniper, birch, and larch.

Alpine forests

Alpine can also be categorized into moist and dry.

  • Moist type of alpine is present along the entire Himalayan region and the higher hills of Myanmar border and the major flora includes low scrub, dense evergreen forest, consisting mainly of rhododendron, birch and mosses and ferns. Dry types of alpine are present at high altitude from 3000 m to 4500 m. Dwarf plants predominate, mainly the black juniper, the drooping juniper, honeysuckle, and willow are the predominant flora of this region.

People of India are exploiting forests and harming the natural habitat of animals. People are deforestation the forests and poaching the animals for their skin and bones. The national forest policy of India, 1952 aimed at bringing one third of landmass of the country under forest cover. But the question is has it been enforced?

“Doing things at individual level may lead to great efforts in protecting our environment. Now this is the time to wake up and do something to protect us, our future and our earth!”

About Indian Forests

About forest in India

India is country with diverse climatic conditions, different soil types, different geographical conditions and different environmental conditions. From desert in the Rajasthan to the ever green forests in eastern region and from the mountains of the north Himalayan region to the plains of the south, India is a country with varied geographical conditions. Black soil, red soil, alluvial soil, saline, peat, mountain and desert soil are the types of soils present in India. This is the reason responsible for the various types of forests in India.

There are six major types of forests in India :

Tropical Moist Forests

Tropic moist forests can be further classified into evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and littoral and swamp.

  • Evergreen and semi-evergreen forests are found in the south along the Western Ghats and the Nicobar and Andaman islands and all along the north-eastern region. Some of the common trees of this kind are jackfruit, betel nut, palm, jamun, mango and hollock.
  • Moist deciduous forests are present throughout India except western and north western region. These forests are dominated by sal and teak, along with mango, bamboo, and rosewood.
  • Littoral and swamp forests are found along the Andaman and Nicobar island and the delta area of ganga and Brahmaputra. It consists mainly of whistling pines, mangrove dates, palms, and bulletwood.

Tropical Dry Forests

Tropical dry forests can be further categorized into dry deciduous, thorny forests and dry evergreen.

  • Dry deciduous forests are present in entire northern region except north east. Comment trees are sal, acacia and bamboo.
  • They are found in the black soil of north, west, south and east India. Spurge, caper, and cactus are typical of this region.
  • Dry evergreens are found in foothills of Himalaya and shivalik hills. Pomegranate, olive and oleander are the major type of tree.

Montane Subtropical Forests

They are further sub divided into broad leaved forests and pine.

  • Broad leaved forests are present in eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats. Poonspar, cinnamon, rhododendron, and fragrant grass are the major types of plants.
  • Pine forests are present at the hills of Shivalik Hills, Western and Central Himalayas, Khasi, Naga, and Manipur Hills. Chir, oak, rhododendron, and pine are the major plants.

Montane Temperate Forests

These types of forests are sub-divided into dry, moist and wet forests.

  • Wet montane temperate forests are present on to the east of Nepal into Arunachal Pradesh and the Niligiri Hills, the higher reaches of Kerala. Eucalyptus and rhododendron is the major flora.
  • Moist montane temperate forests are present from western to the eastern Himalayan. Trees include broad-leaved oak, brown oak, walnut, rhododendron and various ferns and bamboos.

Sub Alpine Forests

These forests extend from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. Most predominant flora is juniper, rhododendron, willow, black currant, red fir, black juniper, birch, and larch.

Alpine Forests

Alpine can also be categorized into moist and dry.

  • Moist type of alpine is present along the entire Himalayan region and the higher hills of Myanmar border. Major flora includes low scrub, dense evergreen forest, consisting mainly of rhododendron, birch and mosses and ferns.
  • Dry types of alpine are present at high altitude from 3000 m to 4500 m. Dwarf plants predominate, mainly the black juniper, the drooping juniper, honeysuckle, and willow are the predominant flora of this region.

According to the recent survey, the India State of Forest Report 2011, depicted that forest cover of India has reaches now at 6,92,027 sq km which is 21.05 per cent of total geographical area of India which was 23.02 per cent in 2010.

Indian government and the forest department should take certain measures to enforce the law to conserve the forests land in India. Green mission India is the one step ahead which is to increase forest cover in 20 million hectares of land in 10 years.

Tripura – Art & Culture

Tripura ArtTripura is a state in North-East India which is situated at altitude of 12.80 meters and borders with Bangladesh, Mizoram and Assam. It is surrounded by Bangladesh on its north, south and west: the length of its international border is 856 km (84 per cent of its total border). It shares a 53 km long border with Assam and a 109 km long border with Mizoram. The state is connected with the rest of India by only one road (NH-44) that runs through the hills to the border of Karimganj District in Assam and then winds through the states of Meghalaya, Assam and North Bengal to Calcutta. The capital of the state is Agartala.

The total land area of Tripura state is 10,491.69 Km2 and more than 50% is hill area. The population of the state is around 3671032 according to the census of 2011. The known languages of Tripura is Hindi, English, Bengali and Manipuri.

Due to the hill areas the state does not face higher temperature even in summer. The average temperature in summer remains between 20° C to 36° C and around 7° C to 27° C during winters. The climatic conditions of Tripura make it perfect place to spend a good time. In the period between June to August the state enjoys monsoon rainfalls. The average rainfall per annual is around 2500 mm in Tripura.

Tripura is the 2nd smallest state in terms of area, but the 2nd most populous state in the North Eastern Region. Although the state is small with a population of only over three million, the social composition of the population of Tripura is diverse. In particular, around one-third of the population comprises people belonging to the Scheduled Tribes. The literacy rate of 74% has been recorded in the state

Bamboo Dance

For administrative convenience and de-centralization of power, Tripura which had once been a single district only is now divided into altogether eight districts, twenty three subdivisions and forty five rural development blocks. Besides, a special feature of the state is the vibrant existence of an Autonomous District Council for tribal’s based on 6th schedule of the Indian constitution. The ADC in Tripura encompasses 68.10% of the state’s total geographical territory and is home to roughly one third of the state’s population.

Tripura, nestled in a tip of the Northeast, flourishes on the bounties of nature but the beauty of the state is heightened by its human resources on the one hand and rich cultural tradition on the other.

Folk culture of the tribal and non-tribal people of the state forms the backbone of Tripura’s cultural tradition. This is reflected as much in the delicately rhythmic physical movement of the ‘Hoza Giri’ dance of the Reang tribesmen as in the collective musical recitation of ‘Manasa Mangal’ or ‘Kirtan’ (devotional songs in chorus) of the non-tribals. Apart from this, the ‘Garia’ dance of the tribal’s, organized on the occasion of New Year festivities and worship of ‘Garia’, and ‘Dhamail’ dance of the non-tribals, organized on familial occasions like wedding ceremony in rural areas as well as musical duels (Kabi Gaan) between two rival rhyme-makers on public platforms form the staple of Tripura’s folk culture. Tripura is enriched by myths and legends of tribal society over the past half a millennium.

Tripura’s folk culture now confronts a major threat from so-called modernity. Gone are the days when rhythmic movement of artists in ‘Garia’ or ‘Dhamail’ dance would keep viewers awake all through the night. These forms of culture have been falling prey to invasion of modernity as western musical instruments like guitar, mandolin etc keep replacing the traditional instruments like indigenous drums and flutes and western ‘break dance’ push aside the pristine purity of the ‘Garia’ dance or ‘Dhamail’. However, cultural programmes, marked by songs and dances, associated with birth anniversaries of great poets and lyricists Rabindra Nath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam add colour and charm to the state’s multi-layered cultural mosaic enriched by contributions from many streams of sub-culture.

Tripura – Forests and Forest Department

Tripura Forests

Tripura Forest

Tripura situated at the north eastern region of India. The state has approx 50 to 60 percent of forest area which also includes reserve areas. The forest department of Tripura is committed to preserve and increase the forest area in order to meet the ecological and industrial requirements. The department has laid down the following objectives to fulfil its requirements

  • Prevention of degradation of resources and improving their quality.
  • Restoration of degraded forest land.
  • Maintaining ecological balance and ecological restoration.
  • Creation of livelihood opportunities through sustainable use of resources.
  • Other topical issues like climate change and generation of synergy with other organs of the Govt. are also being addressed.

The strategies to be adopted includes:

  • Quantitative and qualitative appraisal of forestry and biodiversity resources in the State for informed planning, execution and monitoring.
  • Improving the natural resource base of the State and conservation of biodiversity for “Livelihood Support” and “Sustainable Economic Security” and prevention and mitigation of climate change effects.
  • Ecological recovery/restoration through protection of ecosystems and strengthening of Infrastructure.
  • Capacity building, Technological Interventions, Human Resource Development, Research and Development, Awareness and Education.

The forest department and the state govt. of Tripura are also facing several issues which are really required to be addressed to prevent the crucial flora and fauna of Tripura. The various sectoral issues that have been observed include the following:

Forest Degradation

Almost entire area of forests of the state has been subjected to severe degradation. During survey of forest resources in the state by FSI in 1989, it is shown that majority of forest areas (up to 72.73%) are heavily to moderately degraded.

Influx of people from Bangladesh

There had been large influx of people in Tripura from the neighboring country, the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).  The fast growth in population (density 304 per square km., 2001 census) in the State, coupled with poor infrastructure and lack of alternative livelihood options resulted in mounting pressure on forest and forestland.  This has also led to reduction in per capita forest area from 0.97 ha to a present level of 0.18 ha. and encroachments and over exploitation of forest resources.  Smuggling of forest produce through 856 km long porous border with Bangladesh has been a serious problem. Though now most of the border has been fenced, some gaps still remain. Smuggling through rivers still continues.

Shifting Cultivation

During implementation of The Schedule Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dweller (Recognition of Forest Right) Act, 2006, 116000 families have been identified as dependent upon forest land. Over 166000 ha of forest land rights have been recognized and necessary documents have been issued to the beneficiaries.

Forest Encroachments

Encroachment of forestland is a serious threat to forests and its conservation. As per record maintained by the Forest Department, the position is alarming and needs special attention to tackle this problem. The position of encroachment up to 1991 is shown below:

Period Number of Families Area Encroached (ha)
Before 1980 16,210 5305.30
After 1980 27,005 8620.40
Total 43,215 13,925.71

Forest Fire

Forest fires are common and frequent in the plains (around 20% of the total forest area of the State) as the villagers, at the end of winter, set fire to get flush of new grass for their cattle. Forest Survey of India (1993) has estimated that forest fire has led to heavy to moderate degradation of around 6.16% of the forests.

Grazing

According to livestock census of 1992, there were 14.683 lacs of domestic animals (cattle, sheep and goat) in the state with 2.9% annual rate of increase. In a survey (1997) it is reported that the domestic animals are now 19.17 lacs. It is estimated that 60% of this animal population graze in the forest area and cause soil compaction and heavy damage to the forest plantations and natural regeneration areas. The intensity of such disturbances, especially near the habitation, is far beyond the carrying capacity of the forests.

There are no grazing grounds. The community lands for grazing purpose in villages have either been encroached upon or diverted to other land use.  Thus grazing constitutes a threat to forest conservation in the State. Enforcement of strict control or imposition of restrictions on such disturbance under present socio-economic condition is practically impossible. A well designed interface with ARDD for rational livestock planning and augmenting fodder availability is urgently required.

Unrecorded Removal of Forest Produce

The adverse effect of unrecorded removal of forest produce is steadily increasing with increase in population, without corresponding increase in forest area. There is immense pressure on forests from fringe dwellers for basic requirements, as well as from miscreants involved in illegal felling and smuggling of forest resources across the border. This has lead to severe degradation of existing forest resources in the State. Simultaneously the forests are viewed as a source of livelihood by the millions living below poverty line.

The Forest Conservation & Rehabilitation Programme

The department has laid down several different projects in order to achieve the projected targets and strategies. These projects would help the forest department in to execute the task with better planning in a result oriented approach. The various projects of the govt. include the following:

Programme I: Natural Resource Appraisal and Inventorization.

Programme II: Consolidation and qualitative improvement of Resources.

Programme III: Capacity Building for Goal Realization.

Programme IV: People’s intervention in Policy making, Programme Implementation and Sustainable Utilization of Resources.