Four basic causes of deforestation in Odisha, watch


Bhubaneswar: As per the environmentalists the four basic causes of deforestation in Odisha are forest fire, timber smuggling, forest land encroachment and illegal cattle grazing. Here is a report from Sorada of Ganjam.

A lot of efforts are being made to protect the environment in Odisha with the creation of new forests. The government is spending crores of rupees towards this.

Wood smuggling

Planting trees is absolutely necessary to maintain the balance in the climate. People are being made aware of this. However, some timber mafia are smuggling wood from the forest for their own profit while in the summer, there is fear of forest fire.

More than 15 thousand hectares of forest has been created under Sorada and Badagada forest division in Ganjam district. It also has hills and mountains. There are thousands of big trees in this forest. There are also trees that are over a hundred years old. There are more bamboo bushes in this forest.

Fourteen herds of elephants are often witnessed in the Pandakhol forest as plenty of water is available here. Tigers are also seen in some places. In this forest bear, deer, big and small animals and birds are living.

Hundreds of personnel have been deployed to protect these animals. Crores of rupees are being spent by the forest department every year on planting saplings to create new forests. But all the efforts are going fruitless, because by shaking hands with a few corrupt forest officials, the timber mafias are cutting big teak trees, shrubs and sandalwood trees and smuggling them overnight. It has been alleged that the forest department is not doing much to restrain the smugglers.

Forest land encroachment 

Further, some tribal people, who are coming from other districts are destroying forests. They are cutting down acres of forests and encroaching the forest land. It has been alleged that a few corrupt forest officials are involved in this act.

Forest Fire

Forest fire has become more of a problem for the forest department. Now some parts of the forest are already on fire. After a few days it will become acute. As a result, the entire area will be smoky. Wild animals will move to the human habitats. Elephants will enter to the towns and cities as the fury of the fire makes them unbearable.

Due to lack of rain this year, leaves and wood in the jungle are dry in the forest. Some ill-mannered people throw away cigarettes and bidis while passing by the jungle road. It slowly catches fire.

Besides, some bad people also deliberately set the forest on fire. The result is that more number of trees are lost due to smuggling and forest fire than are planted each year.

The government has formed the VSS Van Suraksha Samiti with the nearby people for forest protection. With some financial assistance from the Forest Department, people are benefiting by stitching khali, mushroom farming, flower planting, vegetable cultivation and banana farming. The aim is to make people self-employed so that they will not destroy the forest anymore rather will take care of the forest. Many women are employed in these organizations.

In the nursery of the forest department, the women grow the seedlings and distribute them to the people. And in tree plantation program, trees are planted at various places.

However, the forest is being destroyed day by day. The fire is being doused using blowers. Night patrolling is also being done. More than 100 firefighters have been deployed to douse the fire. Still people are destroying forests by setting fire. If things continue like this the jungle will disappear someday.

Environmentalists say there are four main causes of deforestation. Wood theft, forest fires, illegal cattle grazing and forest encroachment. Even though wood theft has decreased in the forest, forest fires and forest land encroachment have become a big problem.

It seems now there is a battle between progress and nature. Because if there is no progress, the human society will not improve. However, it is advised not to let go of the gifts given by the nature. Therefore, along with progress, nature’s bounty must be conserved. Forest protection is not only the responsibility of the forest department but society also has some responsibility.

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