2nd Five Year Plan
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Chapter 15:

The forests of India are the source of many kinds of timber with varied technical properties, which subserve the requirements of the building industry, of defence and communications as well as of an expanding range of industries in which wood forms the principal raw material. Forests are also the source of urban firewood and of small dmber required by rural communities. They provide grazing hay and fodder. Apart from these direct benefits, forests perform a vital function in projecting the soil on sloping lands from accelerated erosion by water and on flat lands from desiccation and wind erosion. In the catchments of the rivers, they serve to moderate floods and to maintain stream flow. They have an important ameliorating influence on the factors of the climate. These protective benefits are fully realised when forests extend over sizeable tracts, but even scattered trees and clumps of tree growth exercise a beneficial influence. Properly disposed shelter belts and wind belts serve to increase agricultural yields to a marked extent Finally, forests are the home of our rich and varied wild life. Their destruction directly spells the destruction of wild life.

2. These are familiar facts, but they emphasise the compelling need for retaining an adequate proportion of the land surface under permanent forests which are properly distributed and assured of freedom from encroachment, abuse and over-use. In India forests account for 22 per cent of the total land surface. As a percentage this would not appear to be an unsatisfactory figure, but actually the timber value of the areas classed as forests falls far short of their potential, which is itself substantially below the yield per acre of forests in Western countries. A considerable proportion of Indian forests are such only in name and are subject to various forms of maltreatment. The proportion of forest land varies from about 11 percent in the north-west to about 44 per cent in the central region. Thus the forests, such as they are, are unevenly distributed. Forests are most scarce in the areas where they are most needed as, for example, in the densely populated and intensively cultivated Gangetic basin. Over most of the country the forests are of a tropical character, being naturally somewhat open in the drier region and being everywhere composed of a large variety of species of which only a few have an economic value. Thus, an acre of forest land even in the valuable mixed moist deciduous forest yields less utilizable timber than an acre of forest in the purer European forests. Some improvement in this matter can be effected (and indeed has been effected) by finding uses for secondary timbers through research and by avoiding waste in extraction. In advanced countries, such as the U.SA. and U.S.S.R. the area under forest is often about a third of the total land area. Having regard to these considerations, oepecially the lower productive capacity of the natural tropical forests, the National Forest Policy Resolution of 1952 proposed that the area under forests should be raised steadily to 33 per cent of the total area, the proportion to be aimed at being 60 per cent in hilly regions and 20 per cent in the plains.

3. It is well to remember that every advance in industrialization will be reflected in an increased demand on the produce of the forest. Several industries will make use of wood directly as a material, but even where this is not the case. timber will be needed not only initially in the construction of factories but also regularly for the packaging of the manufactured products. The forests will have to provide cellulosic raw materials in increasing measure for the production of paper needed for educational and other programmes. It is not an accident that the most advanced countries in the world are precisely those with the highest per capita consumption of wood. India's per capita consumption of round wood is 1.4 eft. as compared with 58 eft. in the U.S.A The consumption of pulp products is 1.6 Ibs. as against 78 Ibs. in the U.K. The per capita forest area is 1.8 and 3.5 hectares in the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. respectively, while in India the figure is 0.2 hectare. These figures indicate the leeway that has to be made up in order to attain a comparable standard of living.

4. Forest policy has to be directed, on the one hand, to securing the long-range development of forest resources and, on the other, to meeting the increasing demands for timber in the immediate future. In both directions it is necessary to plan realistically. Reference has already been made to the disadvantages arising from the mixed character of the tropical forests, with the valuable species forming a mere sprinkling in them. This causes serious difficulties in the effective regeneration and management of the mixed forests. *In the case of teak, these difficulties could not be overcome in many areas except by resort to clear-felling and artificial regeneration in compact areas. A similar solution will have to be found for the production of wood required for industrial purposes; ready availability of wood for industrial purposes in adequate quantities and at reasonable cost is a sine qua non for successful timber-based industries. A pronounced trend towards artificial regeneration of industrial (and commercial species) will therefore be inevitable in the future management of our forests. The dangers and difficulties implicit in such a course are fully realized and it should be the task of intensified silvicultural research to .overcome the difficulties and ward off the dangers.

5. The extension of the area under forests and their transformation so as to increase "their yield potential will necessarily take a long time. It is therefore essential to resort to short-term measures which will not at the same time injure the prospects of long-term development. Measures should be taken to "upgrade" inferior or secondary timbers. The strength and durability of these timbers can be improved by known techniques of plywood manufacture, seasoning, preservative treatment, lamination, and timber engineering. Ornamental timbers can be made to go a longer way by being used as fa'ce veneers. Chip-boards arid hard-boards made out of inferior timbers or wood waste:will help to meet the timber deficit Improved methods of timber extraction will help to cut costs and reduce waste.

6. The main principles governing the management of forest resources and their continued development were also laid down by the Forest Policy Resolution, 1952. The Resolution stressed the need for:—

  1. evolving a system of balanced and co.m-plementary landuse, under which each type of land is allotted to that form of use under which it would produce most and deteriorate least;
  2. checking—
    1. Denudation in mountainous regions on which depends the perennial water supply of the river systems whose basins constitute the fertile core of the country;
    2. the erosion progressing apace along the treeless banks of the great rivers leading to ravine formation, and on vast stretches of undulating waste-lands depriving the adjoining fields of their fertility;
    3. the invasion of sea-sands on coastal tracts, and the shifting of sand dunes, more particularly in Rajputana deserts;
  3. establishing tree lands, wherever possible, for the amelioration of physical and climatic conditions and promoting the general well-being of the people;
  4. ensuring progressively increasing supplies of grazing, small wood for agricultural implements, and in particular, of firewood to relase the cattle-dung for manure to step up food production;
  5. sustained supply of timber and other forest produce required for defence, communications and industry; and
  6. the realisation of the maximum annual revenue in perpetuity consistent with the fulfilment of the needs enumerated above.

In order to implement these directives and develop the country's forest resources effectively and usefully, measures will be necessary

  1. to extent and improve areas under forests;
  2. to meet the increased demand for timber and forest produce in the immediate future; and
  3. to plan for the long-range development of forest resources.

Progress During The First Plan

7. The first five year plan provided Rs. 9.6 crores for forest development. During the first plan period, State Governments carried out a number of schemes relating to afforestation, development of forest communications, strengthening of forest administration and formation of village and small-scale plantations. On an area exceeding 75,000 acres, the vegetative cover was restored by afforestation or planting. Over 3000 miles of forest roads were constructed or improved. A considerable area (over 20 million acres) of forest land under private ownership or management was brought under State control, and the administrative set-up was strengthened to deal with this additional responsibility. The preparation of working plans was speeded up and additional areas were brought under new working plans.

8. The Central Government sponsored a scheme for matchwood plantations and towards the end of the Plan period, such plantations were being raised in the States at the rate of about 3000 acres per year. The principal schemes of the Central Government related to Forest Research, Forestry Education and the Preservation of Wild Life. New fields of investigation in forest research included studies in the introduction of Malayan cane into India, protection of timbers against marine organisms, preservative treatment of green bamboos, etc. Work was initiated in revising and bringing up to date important and standard works connected with forestry and forest utilisation. Additional accommodation and. equipment have been provided at Dehra Dun to meet the increased requirements of forest education. The Indian Board for Wild Life was constituted inl952 and has done useful work in the cause of preservation of wild life in the country. Preliminary steps have also been taken towards the establishment of a modem Zoological-cum-Botanical Park in Delhi.

9. Besides continuing, wherever necessary, work on the schemes initiated during the first five year plan the programme of second plan will include proposals or measures for—

  1. afforestation and improvement of poorer areas in the forests and extension forestry,
  2. formation of plantations of species of commercial and industrial value,
  3. promotion of methods for increased production and availability of timber and other forests produce in the immediate future,
  4. conservation of wild life,
  5. amelioration of the conditions of staff and labour in the forests,
  6. increased tempo of forest research,
  7. increased provision of technical personnel, and
  8. central co-ordination and guidance in the implementation of forest development schemes all over the country.

Forest programmes have been drawn up by different States on a fairly uniform and systematic basis consistent with local requirements. The total provision for forest development in the second plan is about Rs. 27 crores. The Central Government will pay special attention to research, education, demonstration and co-ordination, and the States will carry out the forest development projects.

10. As has been stated earlier a large area of degraded forests has come under State control. Frequently these forest lands are not demarcated on the ground or indicated on maps. These extensive areas have to be defined on the ground and suitably notified under Forest Act as early as possible if they are to be saved from farther indiscriminate cutting and denudation. TheJirst task of State Forest Departments will therefore be to undertake surveys of such areas, with a view to arranging for their better management. At the same time, many of these degraded or derelict areas are urgently in need of rehabilitation. The restoration of a tree cover or even any form of vegetation may prove extremely difficult and expensive. These areas are unlikely to result in a productive forest crop in the near future, and yet, in the interests of securing their protective functions the rehabilitation of as many of these areas as possible must receive urgent attention. It is proposed to tackle about 3,80,000 acres in this manner; this will augment the effective forest area of the country.

11. Further, since it may prove extremely difficult to secure land under other use (especially in thickly populated areas) for increasing the extent of forest, measures of extension forestry are to be encouraged to a considerable extent. Plantations will be formed along canal banks, in roadside avenues, in the form of shelter belts and on village, waste lands. It is visualised that many of these plantations will prove productive in the long run.

12. Unde{ existing forest working plans. Forest Departments have been forming timber plantations only on a limited scale and not all the areas suitable for such plantations have been tackled. There is much scope for increased work along these lines. Extensive areas could be profitably put under such plantations, especially as it is clear that the country's needs for timber and other forest products already exceed production levels and are likely to increase further. About 50,000 acres of forest land will be planted anew with commercially important species like teak. Matchwood plantations will be formed on a larger scale than during the first five year plan and it is proposed that about 50,000 acres will be added to such plantations during the next five years. Progress at this rate for a further period of five years may lead to self-sufficiency with regard to this requirement when the plantations begin to mature. A further 13,000 acres will be planted with species like Wattle and Blue gum of value to the tanning, paper and rayon industries. Plantations of baib grass, suitable for paper making, are also planned.

13. The schemes described above are in the nature of long-term measures of forest improvement. Short-term measures which would help to increase output in the immediate future will include bette'r techniques for timber extraction, the development of forest communications and the increased use of preservative and seasoning processes besides the use of plywood, composite wood, chip-boards, etc. The plan provides for adoption of improved "logging" methods particularly with reference to the use of efficient tools for felling and extraction. The adoption of simple wire ropes for extraction in hilly areas and other similar inexpensive measures will help in the utilisation of resources in relatively less accessible areas to a greater extent than previously. Such improved operations may prove of special value in the hill forests of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and parts of Bihar, Madras and Mysore, Along with improved logging, attention will also have to be given to large-scale development of forest communications. Under the plan it is proposed to construct or improve 7,400 miles of forest roads. Side by side with the increased production of commercially valuable timbers effective use of all timbers readily available in the forest should be made. It is known that India's forest include a variety of secondary timbers which can supplement the commercial timbers if properly seasoned and rendered durable by preservative treatment The plan therefore provides for the establishment of three or four demonstration timber treating and seasoning plants by the.Centre and also some 10 small-scale treating and seasoning plants in the States with a view to upgrading secondary timbers and utilising them fully.

14. Much difficulty has been felt in planning and development of forest resources due to lack of basic statistical information regarding such resources in the country. Resources surveys, particularly a timber trends survey, are to be undertaken (in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organisation) for the study of timber production including utilisation an.d end-uses as of also future trends in consumption. The latter will help in the future planning of production.

15. India's forest are known to be rich in their content of minor forest produce such as bamboo, cane, resin yielding trees, plants yielding essential oils, medicinal plants, grasses, etc. While such well known items as bamboos and lac are being cultivated or reared and utilised on a fairly satisfactory scale, better methods of rearing, collection, extraction and marketing should be possible with a view to ensuring quality as well as regular and adequate supplies of all minor forest produce. In the case of some items such as medicinal plants, intensive cultivation under controlled conditions (in plantations) needs to be developed as speedily as possible. It is proposed to put about 2000 acres of land under such plantations during the second plan. Improvement of pastures and forest grazing also will receive attention and about 5 lakhs acres are likely to be dealt with in the .period.

16. The conservation of wild life is an intergral part of forest management, especially in view of the imperative need for protecting India's rich heritage of wild life, which is now finding its last refuge within the limits of the reserved forests of the country. Such notable animals as the lion and the rhinoceros are in danger of extinction. In order to serve the cause of wild life, forestry programmes in the second plan include the establishment of 18 national parks and game sanctuaries, besides a modem zoological park in Delhi.

17. The conditions of working and living in or near forests involve unsual forms of hardship and the amelioration of the working conditions of staff and labour in the forests calls for special consideration. The provision of facilities by way of accommodation, drinking water supplies, medical assistance, schooling, etc. will therefore receive the attention of State Forest Departments. In order to strengthen the economy of comparatively backward, tribal forest workers, forest labour co-operatives may be established on an increasing scale for working forest produce (based on the experience gained in this field in Bombay), so that profits which now go to contractors should accrue to forest labourers. Care should, however, be taken to see that these cooperatives do not fall into the hands of individuals who may exploit the tribal people. Forest Departments should therefore give close 'and sympathetic guidance in the working of co-operatives.

18. Development work on the scale proposed necessarily calls for an increased tempo of forest research. The research programme initiated during the first five year plan at the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun will be further expanded during the second plan and will include, besides studies in logging methods, timber engineering, plant introduction and genetical research as also problems connected with timber utilisation in industries. Units to investigate biological and silvicultural problems will be located in conjunction with the Southern Forest Ranger College at Coimbatore and units dealing with forest products research will be established at Bangalore, utilising the Mysore Government's Forest Research .Laboratory as a nucleus. States will also undertake research schemes relating to local and regional problems, particularly in the- field of silviculture:

19. The requirements of forest personnel during the second five year plan have been worked cut. About 250 forest officers are required as against the normal likely output of the Forest College, Dehra Dun of about 150. It is therefore proposed to increase annual admissions from 40 to 80. The number of Forest Rangers required is estimated to be about 700 compared 10 the present output capacity of 600 from the colleges at Dehra Dun and Coimbatore. The number of admissions at Coimbatore is proposed to be raised by 40. About 2000 foresters will be needed for implementing the various programmes included in the second five year plan, and arrangements for training them are being made locally or in different regions. The requirements of research personnel (other than those trained in forestry) will be met by recruitment from other sources.

20. It is recognised that in'order to achieve well-planned development of forest resources all over the country, coordination of the activities of the States and the Centre is desirable. The Central Board of Forestry concerns itself with the various problems arising in India's forests and provides overall guidance. It is necessary that development work as well as working plan preparation and forest management should be coordinated on a comprehensive scale under a continuing whole-time organisation. It is therefore essential to set up and maintain a well-organised service for technical advice and assistance at the Centre. Such an Organisation could also make itself responsible for improved forest statistics, market studies and statistical information, for the standardisation of grading work with reference to timber and other forest produce and for the technical efficiency of all forestry practices in the country. It is therefore proposed to set up a Forestry Commission for coordination of forest development and management.


21. Large areas of land have gone out of productive use because of wind and water erosion and this process is continuously at work. Surveys of areas which have been damaged by or are suffering from soil erosion are available only for some parts of the country. In fact, a high proportion of agricultural lands under cultivation suffer from soil erosion of one kind or another. Deserts which cover about 50 million acres are in the grip of erosion themselves and produce conditions conducive to erosion in adjacent areas. It is estimated that one-fifth of the area in hilly regions, pastures, waste lands and ravines are in an advanced state of erosion. Excessive deforestation, overstocking of grazing lands and the practice of unsuitable methods of agriculture have been important factors contributing to erosion.

22. During the first five year plan soil conservation work was begun on systematic lines. About 250 agricultural and forest officials have been trained in soil conservation methods. A desert afforestation research station was set up at Jodhpur in 1952 and five regional research-cum-training centres were established in the latter half of the first plan period. Eleven pilot projects have been taken up in the States of Bombay, Andhra, Orissa, West Bengal, Madras, Punjab, Saurashtra. Travancore-Cochin, Ajmer, Kutch and Manipur. The pilot projects located in Madras and Travancore-Cochin have now been converted into development projects. Demonstrations of soil conservation practices under expert guidance have been carried out in these pilot projects and in areas such as the Damodar Valley and in Keleghai and Darjeeling in West Bengal, in the Machkund area, in the Bundhelkhand region and the Jumna ravines in Uttar Pradesh and in the Nilgiris in Madras. In the Araku valley, a project which was intended to improve the economic conditions of the tribal people by demonstrating the use of terracing, contour bunding, etc. has been taken up. In the planning and execution of the demonstration programmes, local fanners have been generally associated. A reconnaissance survey covering the Upper Teesta river valley has been carried out and suitable control measures proposed. This survey illustrated the urgent need for soil conservation measures in the upper reaches of all river valleys. In the Bhakra catchment area, afforestation for soil conservation has been in progress since 1951-52 and 4382 acres of trenching and check damming and 5124 acres of afforestation have been undertaken. Soil conservation practices such as contour bunding, contour trenching, gully plugging, terracing, check damming, training of streams and ravines, etc. which have been undertaken in the States during the first plan cover a total area of about 700,000 acres of which Bombay alone accounts for more than two-thirds.

23. During the first plan problems connected with the immobilisation of the Rajasthan desert have been studied in detail. A Desert Afforestation and Research Station has been established at Jodhpur. Trees have been planted over 150 miles of the roads in western Rajasthan. A total area of about 100 square miles is being demarcated for pasture improvement and experimental plantations.

24. Soil conservation work will be undertaken during the second plan in a concentrated manner over 3 million acres in those tracts which are seriously affected by soil erosion. The programmes drawn up for these areas will attempt to tackle erosion problems of all kinds—for agricultural lands, deserts and coastal sand dunes, river valley projects, hill regions, ravine lands, waste lands and lands eroded by sea. A provision of Rs. 20 crores has been made in the plan for soil conservation.

25. Agricultural lands. Sloping and undulating lands which are under cultivation have specially suffered from sheet and gully erosion. A recent erosion survey of areas in Bombay which are exposed to scarcity conditions has shown that more than two-thirds of cultivated area has been severely eroded, and about one-fourth of the land has been rendered useless for agricultural purposes. Similar conditions exist in parts of Madras, Mysore, Hyderabad, Aildhra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Bharat, Bhopal and Saurashtra. Soil conservation measures such as contour cultivation, strip cropping, mulch farming, bunding, terracing, gully plugging, check damming etc. carried out in a planned manner can do much to arrest deterioration of land and, in due course, restore its productivity. Such measures are to be undertaken over about 2 million acres of agricultural lands during the second plan period.

26. Deserts and coastal sand dunes.—-Due to pressure of population, both human and cattle, in desert areas in Kutch and in parts ofRajasthan vegetation has been fast diminishing. This leads to further desert formation and affects the fertility of agricultural lands in U.P., the Punjab and in other parts of Rajasthan. In addition there are local sand dunes and coastal sand dunes which also require to be controlled. Measures for the control of shifting sands and sand dunes, such as the creation of nucleus centres for the spread of vegetation, the introduction of improved dry farming practices and animal husbandry, improvement of pastures by seeding, fencing and rotational gracing, afforestation and village plantations for fuel and fodder, will be undertaken over an area of about 350,000 acres.

27. River valleys.—The practice of shifting cultivation has impaired forest wealth in Chhotanagpur, Orissa, Assam, and the Nilgiris which form the catchment areas of important river valley projects. Soil conservation in the upper reaches of river valley is essential for preventing silting in dams and rivers. Soil conservation measures such as afforestation, fire control in forests and wastelands, pasture management, contour bunding, contour cultivation and strip cropping, gully control, stream-bank erosion control, head water dams and bench terraces will be undertaken during the second plan over about an area of 330,000 acres.

28. Hilly regions.—Due to pressure of population and overgrazing, specially by goats, steep slopes in the foot hills of the Himalayas from punjab to Assam, in the Nilgiris, in the Eastern and Western Ghats, and in other hilly areas are being gradually deforested. Forests in the village common lands of the Siwalik hills in Punjab, Pepsu and Himachal Pradesh have suffered over a long period. From these bare and barren hills sand has been carried down by hill torrents into the plains below and has buried or destroyed thousands of acres of valuable agricultural land. In the Assam hills, large tracts have been laid bare by shifting cultivation. In the Nilgiris, forests on steep slopes have been cut down to make room for potato cultivation which has caused serious denudation. In Travancore-Cochin certain hill forests have been recently cleared for growing tapioca. Such practices result in soil erosion and land slides and are likely to affect dams, channels and river beds. In hilly regions, soil conservation measures over an area of about 170,000 acres are to be undertaken during the second plan period.

29. Ravine lands.—Lands situated along rivers such as the Jamuna, the Chambal, the Sabarmati, the Mahe and their distributaries are being eroded steadily and are going out of cultivation. It is necessary to reclaim such lands by afforestation, check dams, and terraces and other soil conservation measures in the watersheds of these rivers. Large-scale bunding operations for holding rain water are also needed. It is proposed to take soil conservation measures in ravine lands over an area of about 150,000 acres.

30. Waste lands—There are large tracts of waste lands which are at present under active erosion due to misuse. This is seen, for instance, from the naked roots of trees and shrubs often found on waste lands. Some of these lands should be afforested to supply fuel and fodder and the rest put under improved .pastures. During the plan period, soil conservation measures in waste lands are to be taken up over an area of about 100,000 acres.

31. Sea-eroded lands.—Mention may also be made here of a scheme which though not part of the soil conservation programme proper will help protect coastal areas in Travancore-Cochin. Portions of the coastal area of this State are subjected to sea-floods periodically, which causes soil erosion. It is proposed to take protective measures at points which are damaged by such floods. The programme for the second plan covers about45 miles of the coast.Workon the construction of a long sea-wall parallel to the coast with groynes 200 ft long at 660 ft. intervals has been begun.

32. Soil Conservation Boards.—As recommeaded in the First Five Year Plan, a Central Soil Conservation Board was set up in 1953 for organising a national soil conservation programme. Soil conservation boards have been set up in almost all the States. The functions of the Central Soil Conservadoe Board include the coordination of research, arrangements for technical training, organisation of collaboration between the States and the C,"ntre and technical and financial assistance for projects undertaken m S-tates and in river valley areas.

33. Soil Conservation. Legislation.—In the First Five Year Plan it was recommended that suitable legislation should be undertaken by States for soil conservation. The object of such legislation should be .to' provide for (a) power to execute specified improvements and to allocate the cost between farmers and the State Government, (b) constitution of cooperative organisations of farmers for soil conservation work, and (c) powers to restrict uses and practices in certain areas which could be declared "protective areas". A few States like Bombay, Uttar Pradesh and Saurashtra already have legislation for soil conservation and few other States have had legislation under consideration. The Central Soil Conservation Board has carried out a study of the legislation on soil conservation already in force or under consideration in different States and has circulated a model soil conservation bill for the use of States. The model bill provides for the preparation and execution of land improvement schemes, including schemes for conservation and improvement of soil resources, prevention or mitigation of soil erosion, protection of land against damage by floods or drought, reclamation of waste lands, payment of compensation to farmers, recovery of Government dues, etc.

34. Soil Conservation Research and Surveys.— Extension work in soil conservation has to be based on investigations under different conditions of soil and climate. The Government of India have set up six research-cum-training centres in soil conservation at the following places:—

  1. Dehra Dun—for studying problems of afforestation and soil conservation in the S^walik hills and submountainous district? with a sub-station at Chandigarh for training of chos (hills torrents):
  2. Kotah—with a sub-centre at Agra for reclamation and soil conservation in the chambal and the Jamuna ravines;
  3. Vasad (North GujaraQ—for soil conservation measures in the deep ravines in the lower reaches of the catchments of rivers;
  4. Bellary—for soil conservation problems in the black soil region;
  5. Ootacamund—for use of bench terraces for saving the soil for potato cultivation in the Nilgiris and other hill regions;
  6. Jodhpur—for afforestation .in the Rajasthan desert and improvement of pasture and grazing lands in Rajasthan for cattle breeding and sheep management

Some States have also established research stations, such as those at Sholapur in Bombay, at Sahibnagar in Hyderabad, at Rehmankhera in Uttar Pradesh and at Rajgangpui* in Orissa.

35. These reserach stations are engaged in developing effective practices acceptable to farmers and conforming to the required technical standards necessary. The desert afforestation research station at Jodhpur has undertaken investigations on silviculture of indigenous species, possibilities of introducing exotic arid zone species, and hydrological conditions, rainfall, wind velocities and other relevant factors. The station maintains a seed store for the distribution of seeds of suitable species. It also demonstrates various methods of desert control such as vegetation around tahsil offices and police stations, shelter belts along selected roads and railway lines running across the directions of the winds, and organiszation of forest plantations on different types of sand to evolve the best methods of afforesting the region. Under the second plan the Central Soil Conservation Board will extend the activities of this station for developing forest plantations and pastures with a view to the stabilisation of the desert

36. For the planning of soil conservation measures reconnaissance surveys on a regional basis are required. These will provide essential data regarding the present land use patterns, soil characteristics, degree of erosion, climatic conditions, etc. On the basis of the surveys suitable programmes can be formulated. A provision of Rs. 65 lakhs has been made in the second plan for surveying, classifying and mapping out about 10 million acres of land in areas which present special problems.

37. Programmes to be undertaken during the second plan are estimated to require about 4000 persons of different grades of expertise. In view of the shortage of trained personnel available at present, training centres have been established by the Government of India at the research stations at Dehra Dun, Kotah, Vasad, Bellary and Ootacamund. Training facilities are also available at the Hazaribagh soil conservation reserach station of the Damodar Valley Cor poration. In addition to these facilities, U.P., Bombay and Saurashtra have established their own training centres at Rehman Khera, Sholapur and Morvi respectively. A number of pilot project demonstration centres are to be established in different parts of the country for giving demonstrations of soil conservation practices to farmers.

38. Simultaneously, with research on technical aspects of soil conservation it is necessary to pay attention to the human problems involved in conservation and to develop methods, procedures and institutions through which knowledge of conservation practices is carried to the rural people and they can be assisted to carry out such practices. Execution of programmes of erosion control such as discontinuance of shifting cultivation and of current grazing practices would in many cases, entail large changes in the rural economy and in the way of life. The people have therefore to adapt themselves to the new conditions. Erosion control programmes should therefore be accompanied by appropriate programmes of education and resettlement Where the people concerned are tribal people as in the case of shifting cultivators, an understanding of their social and economic organisation is essential as their rehabilitation has to be undertaken in groups and the existing forms of group organisation and leadership have to be utilised.

39. All these measures for education and active assistance for rehabilitation and re-settlement of people can be best undertaken through the agency of the national extension service. Similarly, conservation measures on cultivated lands have to be organised primarily through the extension agency. The importance of soil conservation measures for the work of the extension agency will be apparent from the fact that these measures offer the most hopeful method of raising agricultural productivity in 50 to 60 per cent of the cultivated area of the country, which will not come under irrigation. For conservation measures on the lands of cultivators the extension agency has to provide technical guidance and supervision and financial assistance, mainly in the form of loans. For soil conservation measures which are of collective benefit to a community such as control of erosion in the village common lands, raising of a fuel and fodder reserve for the village, etc., community effort has to be organised with the help of the best local leadership. Local institutions have to be developed so that the people can themselves undertake responsibility for these programmes. As proposed in an earlier chapter, village panchayats should become responsible for soil conservation measures and for ensuring minimum standards of land management by individual cultivators. They should also receive such technical and financial assistance as may be needed.

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