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for the Department, as on Pearson's return he was transferred to act as Settlement Officer for Nimar, and it has been shown how highly his Report on that district was commented upon by the Chief Commissioner.
Cleghorn, Officiating Inspector-General of Forests, reviewed Forsyth's Forest Report. He alluded to the extensive tracts of private forests existing in the provinces, and mentioned that “Mr. Temple was endeavouring to induce the great landholders to accede to certain rules in these forests, and to arrange leases with them. This procedure has been approved by the Secretary of State, and is important, if it can be done upon reasonable terms." He alludes to the agreement concluded with the Thakur of Pachmarhi for the management of his forests, and mentions the Ahiri teak forest south of Nagpur which “for many years supplied Hyderabad almost entirely with timber (I, p. 321), and appears to be the best source for supplying sleepers to the Nagpur branch railway. The preservation of this fine forest is of great moment, and any available opportunity should be taken advantage of to secure its transfer to direct management."
The aggregate forest area at this date was stated to be :
The forests had been divided into six divisions, as follows:
Northern.-Head-quarters, Jubbulpur. Officer in charge, Lieutenant Douglas.
Eastern.--Raipur, Lieutenant Plowden; Central. Seoni, Mr. Jacob.
Western.-Hoshangabad, Mr. Cox; ---Pachmarhi. Baitul, Lieutenant Doveton.
Southern.-Nagpur, Lieutenant Noverre.
Orders had been issued that from January ist, 1865, all trees were to be marked by Forest Officers before being felled. Outlying timber was said to have been all cleared out and the practice of tapping sâl trees for dammer resin had been forbidden. Forsyth had been interesting himself in minor products and had drawn attention to “ the excellent gum of the Dowra tree (Conocarpus (Anogeissus) latifolia); and other articles of forest produce have received attention. This branch of forest revenue is of increasing importance, and received an impetus from the success of the Nagpur Exhibition.” Lieutenant Noverre had been placed in charge of the forestry part of this exhibition, which appears to have been an unqualified success.
The out-turn of timber for the year, a considerable increase on previous years, was 131,820 cubic feet, sal and teak, valued at Rs.1,15,521 ; the greater part of this timber was obtained from trees girdled before the forests came under the sway of the Department, or consisted of logs left by former contractors, In addition the amounts received by permit-holders or contractors were : for Railways, sleepers, 76,624; logs, 6645; for Public Works Department, logs, 850. No record was kept of the amounts supplied or taken by towns and villages ; but this record was to be kept in future.
Both revenue and expenditure had increased, as is shown by the following table :
The Report shows that a remarkably good commencement had been made, and gives evidence of the enthusiasm with which the Forest Officers had thrown themselves into the work.
The following extract, under“ Elephants,” from Cleghorn's review is of interest, indicating that the Khedda Department had transferred its activities, or a portion of them, to the Central Provinces :
“The Superintendent of Kheddas, appointed in March, 1865, has been successful in his operations, and the Conservator desires that some of the captured animals may be made over to the Forest Department. The result is most important, as elephants have not been procurable for some years in Hindustan proper, at anything like the sanctioned prices, to fill up the complement allowed. The advantage to the State of catching, instead of shooting, these most useful animals is very great. It seems opposed to reason to offer rewards for destroying animals (except when dangerous to life or property) which cannot now be purchased in many districts for less than Rs.1,500 to Rs.2,000 each. The importation of elephants from Ceylon is about twenty annually, and the captures in Cochin and Travancore average about ten. In Burma and Siam the number is still large, but the expense of transport is very heavy. It is desirable to avoid the importation of these animals as much as possible."
Fired by the success of the Nilumbur teak plantation in Malabar, Pearson wished to commence the formation of similar plantations in the Central Provinces and was supported by Brandis. The localities chosen for the plantations were sites on the banks of the Nerbuda near Mandla and on the Tapti River in Betul, and the Government of India were asked to sanction the entertainment of a Scotch Forester to be attached to the Province in order to supervise this work. A salary of Rs.150 per mensem was deemed sufficient, the covenant to be for a term of five years. The Government of India accorded their sanction to the proposal and in their letter to the Secretary of State on the subject (Rev. For., No.II, dated 21st November, 1864), asking for his consent, wrote: “ It is proposed that the time of the Forester should be mainly given to the improvement of the forests and the formation of plantations, as well as in instructing and training the native subordinates in forestry, but his attention might likewise be directed to the growth of coffee, cinchona and other economic products under the orders of the local administration.” Which shows that enthusiasm had been aroused through the success attained by the development of these industries in other provinces, but betrays how little the fact was realised that the success attained in one part of India would not necessarily be realised under different climatic conditions in another—a point which it is equally necessary to bear in mind elsewhere in our Empire at the present day—if money is not to be frittered away in experiments which, based on inadequate knowledge or data, have from the outset no chance of achieving success.
As we have seen (p. 44), two Scotch Foresters were sent to the Central Provinces. If they carried out half of the duties allocated to them they must have had a busy and interesting time.
In 1865 Forsyth, as Officiating Conservator, submitted a detailed and excellent Report on the Nimar Forests which had recently been placed under the Forest Department. In their Resolution (dated 8th August, 1865) on the subject forwarded to the Secretary of State with their letter (Rev. For., No. 27 of 25th November, 1865) the Government of India conveyed the following orders in the matter, subject to the former's confirmation:
“ Formerly the forests were under the control of the Revenue Department, and the establishment employed in looking after them was paid out of the revenue derived from them. The receipts for 1863-4, and the three previous years, amounted to Rs.14,664, and the charges to Rs.3,388, showing a net surplus of revenue of Rs.11,276, as follows :
The actual cost of establishment previous to 1864-5 is not stated, but in that year it was increased to Rs.329 per mensem, and the forests were incorporated with the Central Provinces, and placed under the charge of an Assistant Conservator temporarily appointed for this purpose.
The forests of Nimar divide themselves into three distinct lots, those of the Nerbuda, those of the Tapti and the Central; but the last scarcely deserve the name of forests, consisting of underwood and scrub, and are not to be reserved, but offered for sale under the Waste Lands Sale Rules. Of the first it is intended to form a reserve, and the second are to be placed under the district authorities.
The 'Nerbuda Reserve' will consist of the four following tracts, viz., the Burwai tract, the Neemunpoor_Mukrar tract, the Chandgurh tract and the Poonassa tract. But in order to secure the effectual formation of this reserve, it has been necessary to enter into negotiations with the Powar of Dhar for the Neemunpoor Mukrar tract, which juts into and divides the other tracts. These negotiations, it appears from the
Abstract of Proceedings of the Chief Commissioner for the month of June, 1865, have been brought to a successful issue. The reserve, thus constituted, will form one compact forest, covering an area of about 400 square miles, calculated, with proper administration, to yield a revenue of about Rs.20,000 per annum. While stated to be second to none in the Central Provinces, its resources will be fully taxed to supply the demands of the Malwah, Khandeish, and Deccan markets, when opened up by the railway.”
The establishment proposed for managing this reserve comprised 1 “darogah,” 3" duffadars" and 12"
“ duffadars ” and 12“ chuprassis," or guards, at an annual outlay of Rs.2,232. This establishment was to replace the portion of the Revenue Establishment which had been employed on the forests throughout the Nimar District. This latter establishment had cost Rs.3,948 per annum and was now to be dispensed with.
The following paragraph in this Resolution shows how difficult it was for the Revenue authorities to disassociate themselves from the old regime under which the forests had been so long mismanaged :
“As already stated, it is not intended to form the Tapti Forests into a reserve until at least they have recovered themselves; but they are to be withheld from sale under the Waste Lands Sale Rules, and to be placed under the control of the district authorities to be eventually farmed out. A temporary establishment is proposed to be employed in collecting the forest dues during the current year, its cost, Rs.132 per mensem, being met from the receipts, which may be allowed, as the system will cease with the present year. In this way a valuation of the farm will be obtained as a guide in putting it up to auction. A ‘darogah' and four 'chuprassis,' the latter on Rs.6 each, will also be required to carry out the orders of the district authorities; but the former, it is stated, can be supplied from the present sanctioned scale of Establishment for the Central Provinces. The additional expense will therefore be on account of the four 'peons' only, or Rs.288 per annum; and if these are required permanently a tabular statement should be submitted. The Chief Commissioner estimates the net profits from the Tapti Forests at Rs.5,000 per annum, after paying the temporary establishment."
It is difficult to see on what grounds any hopes could have been