Friday, May 11, 2018

Golden Jubillee Celebration

On Golden Jubilee celebration of bandhavgarh day I heard somebody saying that in mid 70's the only policy they had was leave it to nature.
The comment was in a sarcastic manner. I thought to reply then and there but that wouldn't have been an appropiate time to reply.
So here is my answer for your knowledge.
By 1970's Madhya Pradesh had only 3 National Parks. Kanha Shivpuri and Bandhavgarh.
In late 1800 hundred the Kanha forest got noticed by British Govt and they found it very useful for supplying timber for railway sleepers. Chiraidongri and Balaghat were two major ports for transporting timber from Kanha.
By the time in 1955 when Kanha was declared as National Park the forest was already on an average more than 100 yrs old and many trees which were not mature enough for railway sleepers that time were already 400 yrs or more old.
Shivpuri was a shrubland. Although heavy exploitation of Acacia catechu trees thinned the whole forest of that area and National Park was not an exception. So at the time of declaration of Madhav National Park in 1958 there was literally no Forest.
In 1982 when Late Sh M.N.Buch did the survey of Shivpuri for Acacia catechu trees ,because of some complaints against Kattha Mill in Shivpuri , there were hardly few trees left.
Then Bandhavgarh. Declared in 1968. At that time Bandhavgarh did not had any good forest left except few Sal trees in Hardia area but they were not also not big enough to be used as Timber. Use of Sal trees as Balli is shear wastage of timber wood.
Till 1968 the villages were using the forest as per their need without any control on them. Maharaja himself was selling bamboo to Amlai Paper mill who were doing clear felling in the area.
When you have a policy of no plantation in National park then what option you have except to leave it to the nature!!!
A sal forest area of Bandhavgarh became Mixed Forest due to this policy only.
Last month I went on each and every tourism road of Tala and Magadhi zone to look for 70 yrs old trees.
I found very few.
According to sh J J Dutta, who signed the Bandhavgarh treaty between Govt of M.P. and Maharaja of Rewa in 1968 told me that till 1968 there use to be cattle camps around Chakradhara, Rajbehra, Sehra, Dadra, Bathan, Aamanalah, Sukhi Patiya and Hardia area.
One can go to these places today to find out that average age of the forest of this area is around 40 years or so.
So i hope I made my point that in that situation that was the best policy to adopt.