Thursday, September 22, 2011

FELLING IMPACT ON REGENERATION OF BAMBOO (DS) IN EASTERN GHATS


 BACKGROUND AND ORGIN OF THE STUDY:
In 1994 I was selected as Member of DISTRICT PARYAVARANA VAHINI OF Khammam (chaired by the District Collector) District to work on Environment issues in Khammam district. My concern and special interest is forest. One day while I am travelling through forest area I suddenly observed good ventilation that a particular area was clear felled. On my clear observation I found that it is Bamboo Coupe where ITC-Bhadrachalam Paper Mill collects Bamboo. I noticed that quite a number of trees (miscellaneous) growths were felled while collecting Bamboo from Clump. To my surprise the BPL has no right to cut the other trees except Bamboo. I studied the relevant documents of Forest Department Working Plan and Agreement made between APFD and ITC-BPL. I am afraid that if ITC-BPL continues like this, Bamboo will be completely vanish/ruined and sufferers will be local tribals. I made a complaint to DISTRICT PARYAVARANA VAHINI that ITC-BPL is not following silvicultural operations and causing damage to Bamboo regeneration as well as felling other miscellaneous trees around the Bamboo clumps. Complaint was well taken by the Convener Sri.Nalini Kumar the then Divisional Forest Officer, Khammam division, but he informed the complaint matter to Sri. Sheshagiri Rao, The Deputy Forest Manager, ITC-BPL to “convince” me. The DFM called me to his office and discussed with me, saying that my observations/statements are false. He requested me not to complain to the higher officers if any such things happen. He expressed his readiness to visit coupes along with me to show the coupes and asked me, if anything wrong with field staff should brought to his notice for correction. There ends my complaint.  Then I thought it should be taken seriously and ITC-BPL is not a small company to advise something for conservation of our Bamboo forests. I shared my concern with forest lovers in donor agencies and got support from SOCIETY FOR PROMOTION OF WASTELANDS DEVELOPMENT (SPWD) through Mr. Ramesh Chakravarthi, Senior Project Officer. The whole study guided by Dr.SN Shabbeer, Project Officer, SPWD, New Delhi.
Text Box:  AS WE AFRAID AND OUR STUDY IN 1995 REVEALED THAT TODAY THERE IS NO BAMBOO REMAINED IN OUR FOREST AND LOCAL PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING EVEN FOR THEIR DOMESTIC NEEDS. A.P.FOREST DEPARTMENT ALSO LOST A BIG INCOME FROM NATURALLY REGENERATED BAMBOO COUPES. ITC-BPL (Now PSPD) IS SUCCESSFULLY GENERATED PRIVATE PLANTATIONS (EQALIPTUS) FOR THEIR PRODUCTION. THIS MONOCULTURE PRACTICE IS ALSO MAKING OUR FARMER LANDS UNFERTILE.
Photograph taken in 1995-96 died clump of Bamboo



































































































































Dr. S.N.Shabeer, Project Officer, SPWD, Planning the Study project.
 
                                                                                     
  Clear felled Bamboo clump
Introduction: Badrachalam South Forest Division lies in the eastern part of Khammam District, between latitudes 170 27’ 42’’ and 170 54’ 05’’ N and longitudes 810 05’ 45’’ and 810 48’ 47’’ E. The Geographical Area of the Division is 1737.52 Km2, which is 10.84 % of the geographical area of the District. The main rivers of the division are Godavari, Sabari, Sileru.The Godavari river forms the southern boundary and Sileru river forms
northern boundary of the division.
HARVESTING PRACTICES FOLLOWED BY   ITC-BPL, SARAPAKA
 The Indian Tobacco Company – Bhadrachalam Paper Boards Limited (ITC-BPL) has made an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Forest Department (APFD) to COLLEECT 60,000 Mt tones of Bamboo per year (@Rs. 835/- Per Mt Tone as royalty) from regenerated Forest of Khammam district from 1991 to 1997 working season. The ITC – BPL have to follow the agreed conditions while collection of Bamboo from forests to improve regeneration growth of Bamboo in the natural forests making sustainable utilization of natural resources.
The Bhadrachalam  (South) Division has 4 ranges…Kunavarm, V.R.Puram, Chinturu and Lakkavara. In each range 4 series of coupes allotted to ITC -  BPL, every year one series will be worked out for Bamboo collection likewise the same area will be allotted after 3 years of working season, by that time the Bamboo will regenerate for collection.
Bhadrachalam division has 3 species of Bamboo. Most prevailing Bamboo is “Dendrocolumas Stricktos” which is called as SADHANAM by native tribes. This species of Bamboo will start production from the 6th year and will continue giving bamboo up to the age of 40-50 years at the rotation of every 3 years. Thus we can collect Bamboo from same clump 12 to 15 times; we can collect more produce if we follow the silvicultural operation stipulated by foresters. The agreed conditions of Silvicultural operations as follows are to strictly followed by the ITC-BPL.
The Lessee (ITC-BPL) will have to carry out silvicultural operations, wherever they do extraction operation for improvement of the Bamboo forests.
1.        Culm of less than one year age shall not be felled.
2.       At least Six Culms Clump of one year old well spaced-out in the Culm shall be retained.
3.       All Clumps shall be worked from inside-out in a horse shoes shaped design in the clump.
4.      Felling of clump permitted to be extracted being maintained to be not below the second node from ground level and in any case not higher than 30 cm. from ground level.
5.       Felling is prohibited from July to September. The Bamboo year starts in October and ends by June every year.
6.      Removal of Huygens for walking sticks is strictly prohibited.
7.       If there are only six or less in number, the clump shall not be worked.
8.      Deboris shall be dumped the nearest low lying area.
9.      The soil will be worked around the Bamboo Clumps and put in the shape of a mound over the clump to a height of 0.50 to 1.00 mtrs.
10.     Fire protection measures will be taken whenever needed.
The above conditions/ guidelines were agreed by the ITC – BPL for execution as mentioned in the AGREEMENT and also prescribed Silviculture requirements of working plan ( Volume Np.1, Page No. 352)
On a general observation, we find that, the regeneration of Bamboo growth is heavily affecting due to the non compliance of agreed silviculture operation by ITC-BPL. We made complaint to the concerned forest official for necessary action but, in vain. We discussed this issue with SPWD (Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development). New Delhi and seeked their cooperation and support. They agreed to support the study. We proposed to conduct a study in all the areas worked out by ITC-BPL for Bamboo collection during 1994-95.
We got approval for our study in 4 ranges of Bhadrachalam (South) Division from the Divisional Forest Officer, collected all coups maps of allotted areas to BPL during 1994-95. 4 members of our survey team was attended the training programme on study and started survey from August to November, 1995. Our survey team made camps in every coupe. We selected area wise plots having 200 sq.mtrs. (40*50) quadrate and with the help of survey Proforma the team members noted down the stipulated information for study the final data of the study is as follows.
ABSTRACT
SI.NO
Name of the Range and Coupe
Total area Ha.
No. of Quadrates
No. of Clumps
Cross cutting
‘V’ shape cutting
Left Bamboo less than 1 year
Tender Bamboo Left

V.R.Puram







1
West B.C.1
8,631
8
283
1017
2247
557
220
2
E.B.C.1
1,246
4
136
290
875
129
168

Mothugudem







3
S.B.C.1
5,097
10
321
784
1624
819
114
4
C.B.C 1
1,014
5
194
513
1103
710
116

Chinturu







5
S.B.C 1
6,449
10
421
504
3992
1077
119

Kunavarm






6
6
S.B.C 1
3,692
10
345
802
2914
452
276
7
W.B.C 1
4,997
10
374
569
3867
1024
118
8
E.B.C 1
3133
10
352
886
2614
348
402

TOTAL:
34259
67
2426
5365
19236
5116
1533

We have conducted survey in 8 bamboo coupes of 34,259 Ha. By making 67 quadrates an area of 13.4 Ha. Total number of clumps surveyed are 2,426 in which we find one side (proper) cuttings, 5,365 and two side( improper) cuttings 29,236 (these clums will not regenerate). The ITC-BPL have to leave all tender Bamboos but, they left only 1,533 bamboos. There is no scope for regeneration of Bamboo. The totals left out matured Bamboos are 5,116. But, the BPL has to leave at least six Bamboos for each clump. Thus, for 2,426 clumps the BPL should leave 14,556. We hardly find two matured Bamboos in each clump instead of six as agreed. Hence, there will be no regeneration of Bamboos will happen in these clumps. Simultaneously, there is no one clump is seen which is cleared after felling by removing the dried branches leaves. We find lot of wastages of Bamboo Sticks. The ITC-BPL has not followed horse shoe method of clump working at even place. And there is no proper mounding is done for all the clumps. They do only on the both sides of the roads of inspection.
The ITC-BPL has made a statement during their workshop in September 1995 on “Raw Materials Management” conducted for Junior Forest Managers and declared…… “By 2000 A.D they are in need of 55 lakh M.Ts. of Bamboo for production, but the existing availability estimation is 33 lakh M.Ts. Thus, there is a shortfall of 22 lakh Metric Tonnes”  Source: Training Material circulated during workshop



 




                                                               


Bamboo transportation and Bamboo Depot
The Section officer of Forest Department has to visit the working coupe in every 3 months and report findings to the concerned Forest Range Officer. The Forest Range Officer has to ratify the section officer’s report and submit the same to Divisional Forest Officer (DFO). The D.F.O is authorized to fix penalty and collect. The Forest Department has to verify all cuttings and conditions of the coupe area before taking it back. And the BPL is responsible to report fire accidents and thefts in the forest area allotted to them. But, nothing was seems to done in accordance with the above. The Department officials and BPL Staff is mixed with each other and all the irregularities of BPL are ignored as favour.
SUGGESTIONS MADE AFTER STUDY IN 1995:
·         The felling labor well educated on the merits and demerits of felling procedure, strict supervision will be arranged.
·         The ITC-BPL should follow all the agreed conditions in operation of Bamboo coupes.
·         The Felling Cycle System should follow at 4 years interval instead of 3 years (Dr. Nooruddin Khan, ACF, Working plan 1948-58 FWPP-181).
·         The mounding should do for all the clumps worked.
·         The ITC-BPL staff should careful in supervising the working operations.
·         The Forest Department should supervise as stipulated in the Agreement and working plan.


 








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