Activities Of Puducherry Forest Department

Puducherry lives in legends that great sage Agasthiya was obliged to undertake the south ward journey in order to check the Mt. Vindhya from raising too high and obstructing the passage of the sun. Puducherry has always been a connecting link between Europe and India . Excavations at Arikanmedu have shown the reminds of Roman articles. The Puducherry was under various rulers like Andhra dynasty, Pallavas, Chollas, Naiks. The French ruled Puducherry from 20th September 1816 to 31st October 1964 for a period of 130 years. The present Union Territory of Puducherry is constituted of four regions.

Puducherry

Puducherry situated in the East coast of Bay of Bengal and it is connected by ECR road with Chennai. The Puducherry has an area of 290 Sq.Km.

Karaikal

Karaikal is geographically inside Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. The region is 161 sq.km in area and is situated on one of the mouths of the river Cauvery.

Mahe

Mahe is geographically within Kerala is situated on the mouth of Mahe river. This is 9 sq.km. area on the west coast had been given over to the French by the rules of Badagara in 1721.

Yanam

Yanam is geographically situated in the east coast of east Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The French founded their settlement in 1731. It is 20 sq.km. in area.

Land Use Pattern

Land use Area in ‘000 ha Percentage
Total geographical area 49
Reporting area for land utilization 49 100
Forests 40 80.08
Not available for cultivation 15 30.61
Permanent nature and other grazing lands - -
Land under misc. tree crops & groves 1 2.04
Cultivable wasteland 3 6.12
Fallow land other than current fallows 3 6.12
Current fallows 2 4.08
Net area sown 25 51.02

IDENTIFICATION OF FOREST AREA

An expert committee was constituted as per the direction of Hon'ble Supreme Court for identification of Forest area in the Union Territory of Puducherry. The Committee identified 669.36 ha of forests which includes 52.14 ha on Govt. Forest lands, 617.22 on lands other than Government Forest lands.
Government Forest Lands 52.14 ha.
Forest on other Govt. lands 534.64 ha.
Forest on non Govt.lands 82.58 ha.
Total 669.36 ha.

FOREST DEPARTMENT

Forest Department came into existence in Puducherry during 1997 when Social Forestry wing of the Directorate of Agriculture was placed under the administrative control of the newly created post of Deputy Conservator of Forests in Puducherry . Since then the Department has been working as an independent department with staff drawn from the cadres of Directorate of Agriculture.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

The Department functions with the skeleton staff comprising of the Deputy Conservator of Forests working as the Head of Department and Chief Wildlife Warden who is assisted by one Deputy Director of Agriculture and two Agricultural Officers drawn from the cadre of Directorate of Agriculture. Proposals for the upgrading of the department have been submitted to Govt.

PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

Union Territory of Puducherry does not have forest resources in abundance, in fact there are no recorded forests in the Union Territory . Therefore the activities of the department consist of afforestation by means of plantations in urban and rural areas, extension of technology and know how to farmers and other persons engaged in agroforestry practices and creating awareness about conservation of natural resources.

The department is also responsible for implementing the provisions of Forest and Wildlife laws in Puducherry . It includes preventive and punitive action against poaching of wild animals, illicit trade in wild animals and articles derived from wild animals and unlawful trade in forest produce removed from forests of neighboring states.

For the purpose of achieving its objectives the Department is implementing various schemes namely "Social Forestry", "Forestry Extension and Implementation of Improved Technologies" and "Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Development of Forests and Wildlife in the Union Territory , Coastal Shelter Belt and Sand Dune Stabilisation". The first scheme aims at afforestation both by means of departmental plantations over available wastelands and by distribution of seedlings. The second scheme aims at increasing yields of agro forestry crops by providing improved inputs and know how to farmers. The last scheme provides for law enforcement activities.

ACTIVITIES OF FOREST DEPARTMENT OF PUDUCHERRY

i) Planting of Tree Seedlings in and around Puducherry under Urban Greening Programmes/Green belt which serve as green lung to the city dwellers by abetting the noise and air pollution.
ii) Training to be imparted to Farmers/officials on Modern Nursery and Agro-forestry practices.
iii) Turtle Conservation Programme.
iv) Salim Ali Birds Watchers Club.
v) Formation of Eco-Club and training to Green Brigades in schools - Adopt a Tree Programme.
vi) Implementing Joint Forest Management Programme in Tank Bunds in association with local villages.
vii) Mangroves conservation programme with WWF, India .
viii) Wetland management under Ramsar convention at Ossudu and Bahourlake.
ix) Conservation and protection of existing vegetation and scheduled animals, Birds and Sea Corals in Puducherry by enforcing Indian Forests Act 1917 and Wildlife Protection Act 1972, respectively.
xi) Maintenance of already created vegetation at Manapet, Vadhanur, Katterikuppam, Sederapet sites and two nurseries at Mettupalayam and Lawspet.
xii) Coastal Shelter Belt Programme to be implemented under centrally Sponsored Scheme.
xiii) Maintenance of nursery and protection of seedlings to meet the Urban Population and Rural folks.
xiv) There are 383 saw mills and Wood based industries functioning, Facilitation and Strict enforcement.
xv) To prevention the endangered birds, animals, fishes, turtles, butterfly including migrating birds etc.
xvi) As per the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment, Govt. of India, New Delhi "Development and enforce appropriate ecological standards to protect the environment and provide a better quality of life in human settlements" and " Conservation of green cover".
xvii) The enforcement of Indian Forests Act 1927 and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and afforestation.
xviii) Beach and shore plantation and maintenance.
xix) Bio-diversity conservation in and around Puducherry .
xx) Sacred grooves identification and enumeration of species.
xxi) Inventory on Road side and avenue plantations.
xxii) Urban forestry and Preservation of Trees Act.
xxiii) Rescue and Rehabilitation of birds and animals.
xxiv) Rain water harvesting and soil & water conservation structures.
xxv) Eco-tourism and ecological adventures.

THRUST AREA

Increasing the green cover to 33% of the geographical area
Plantation in all vacant and waste lands and people awareness
Agro forestry Modern nursery development training
Creation of green belt and abate pollution
Coastal shelter belt and sand dune stabilization
Mangrove plantation
Birds and turtle conservation
Joint forest management and community participation

During the current Plan special emphasis is proposed to be given to involvement of local communities in all afforestation activity by means of Joint (or Participatory) Forest Management whereby local community will not only be consulted in plantation activity but made a shareholder in benefits derived there from. In Puducherry several patches of vegetation resembling natural forests exist as accidental or community preserves, mostly in the form of sacred groves near temples. Such groves have been degrading rapidly. Action has been initiated during the current year to identify, demarcate and inventory all the existing groves and take action to preserve and protect such of the groves that are viable and can still be salvaged. Control of illegal poaching of birds and reptiles from wetlands and agricultural fields and trade in wild animals and animal articles is another of the thrust areas. The objective is sought to be achieved by increased co-ordination between different law enforcing agencies.

OBJECTIVES

Preservation and conservation of wild life
Increase the forest and vegetation cover
Biodiversity conservation
Human resource development of Farmers

ACHIEVEMENTS

Creation of Green Belt to abate pollution
Afforestation of wastelands, Tanks, Canals
Avenue and Roadside plantation
Modern Technology training to farmers
Free distribution of seedlings to public, Institutions and Industries
Coastal shelter belt and sand dune stabilization
Mangrove conservation and plantation
Preservation of sacred groves
Urban forestry and preservation of trees
Creation of Recreational parks and Gardens
Forest and Wildlife conservation education
Biodiversity Conservation and Preservation
Creation of Arboretum

FUTURE PLAN

Establishment of animal rescue and rehabilitation centre& Deer Park
Eco-tourism Centre at Manapet Village
Interpretation Centre for birds at Ossudu tank with bird watching.
Mangrove Interpretation Centre with walkway
Establishment of Biodiversity Council
Turtle Research and Breeding Centre
Mega Recreational Park at Karaikal

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