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There is no doubt much has yet to be done in this division to bring matters into a proper state of order, and it is expected that a good deal may be effected towards this by co-operation between the Commissioner of the division and the Conservator during the cold weather. The question adverted to in paragraph 8 of the Report, namely, of clearing and draining the centre of the Eastern Dun, was discussed when His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor was in the Dun. There is much to be said in favour of it, and the attention of the Commissioner and Conservator will be drawn to the subject during their approaching tour of duty together in the Dun, and result reported hereafter,
The contraction of the extent of operations for protecting the forests of Kumaun and Garhwal from fire is clearly necessary. On the important point of provision of pasturage for the settlers on the cleared lands along the forest boundary in Kumaun, the Conservator will be requested to consult with the Commissioner, and to submit the result of their joint deliberations.
The subject of collection of dry wood in the Kumaun and Garhwal Forests generally, requires probably further discussion and attention, which the Conservator will no doubt give.
Bhagaruttee Valley Road.-As regards the Bhagaruttee Road, it may be remarked that the works are now proceeding under an officer of the Public Works Department Establishment, Mr. Denmeade, and the testimony of the Conservator to the care and ability with which he is supervising them is satisfactory. With this it may be confidently expected that they will proceed as fast as is consistent with their economical execution.
Doorgadeh Road.—The Doorgadeh Road was quickly and skilfully made, and does great credit to Mr. Greig.
Sleepers Supply, Bhagaruttee Valley, etc. - The arrangements entered into with Mr. Wilson for supply of sleepers from the Bhagaruttee Valley give every promise of most satisfactory results. The difficulties mentioned by the Conservator have retarded progress in the Tons up to the present time, but the arrangements lately made, by which Mr. Greig has been placed in charge of this work, with an increase of staff to aid him, will, it may be hoped, soon result in a satisfactory organisation of work in these forests also. And this Government will be glad if the Government of India should accede to its recommendation
that sleepers of chir wood be tried in the Rajputana railways as well as of deodar wood.
Plantations about Raneekhet and Chakrata.-The way in which the young trees of Australian kinds have thriven at Raneekhet is gratifying; and His Honour the LieutenantGovernor is glad to be able to mention here that the sanction of the Government of India has been received to the appointment of Mr. Crow, who has already done much to aid in the rearing of these young trees, to the charge of the contemplated plantations in and around Raneekhet for a term which will probably be long enough to see them well established and flourishing
It has already been reported to the Government of India that it is not considered likely that any land will be found suited and available for the formation of plantations near Chakrata, and that there seems no reason why a plentiful supply of firewood for the troops and other residents there may not be obtained from the Dun Forests.
Plantations in the Plains. The result of Mr. Colvin's examination of the khadir of the Ganges, mentioned in paragraph 18, has not yet been reported to Government, and it is requested that the result of his observations may now be submitted in a carefully recorded form."
THE INTRODUCTION OF FOREST CONSERVANCY INTO THE NORTH
WEST PROVINCES AND OUDH, 1865-1870 (continued)
CONSERVANCY IN OUDH
made greater progress in the introduction of Forest
the North-West Provinces. Oudh was not then amalgamated with the latter provinces. It has been shown (I, p. 510) that Mr. F. Read was appointed Conservator of Forests in Oudh in 1861, and Captain E. S. Wood relieved the latter when he went home on furlough in February, 1864. The Secretary of State gave sanction to the appointment of an Assistant Conservator in Oudh in 1865. Brandis had visited Oudh in 1863 and had made a series of valuation surveys in the best stocked forests situated between the Sardah and Korially Rivers. As a result of Brandis' suggestions conservancy had been introduced on systematic lines; though the anticipated yield from the forests had not been attained by 1865.
In reviewing Wood's Progress Report for 1865–6 Cleghom (Officiating Inspector-General of Forests) gave a brief résumé of the history of the Oudh Forests (I, p. 509).
The reserved forests had up to that date been confined to areas containing the three species sål,“ sissu
sissu” and tun.” Wood had reported that there were in addition grass lands within the forests and unculturable tracts containing miscellaneous forest produce which might with advantage be included. Sanction had been given during the year to the inclusion of the latter within the reserves. As regards the former the Chief Commissioner of Oudh had the matter under consideration. It was considered that as the regular survey was now entering these tracts the cost of demarcation would be small.
Works of improvement of the forests had been commenced, and one of the most urgent was the operations required to free II.-2A
the sâl trees from the destructive elephant creeper, Argyreia speciosa. This is a mischievous type of climber. But still more dangerous is the giant creeper Bauhinia vahlii, which climbs over the highest sâl trees in the Terai, both species being often found upon the same tree. The latter is not specifically mentioned, but the operations were doubtless intended to cover both. Not infrequently it is necessary to cut and kill these creepers a year or two before fellings are made, since otherwise the crowns and upper parts of the stems are so interlaced with the stout strands of these creepers that the mere cutting through the base of a tree will not necessarily ensure its fall. A sum of Rs.9006 had been spent on this work during the year. As was rightly said this work was of urgent importance and must be carried out effectually, since the tightening hold of the creepers interfered with the development of the trees and the production of timber. In initiating purely sylvicultural and protective work of this kind it will become apparent that Oudh was ahead of most of the other provinces in India at the period. A further expenditure of Rs.18,500 would be required, and was proposed, to complete the work, at a cost of 4 annas per acre. The outlay was to be distributed over the ensuing few years. As an indication of how difficult it proved to forecast the cost of such a new class of work as this in the Indian forests, Brandis had estimated the cost at Rs.10-20 per square mile, whereas the actual expenditure amounted to Rs.160 per square mile. Wood proposed to carry out observations on the reproductive powers of the Argyreia.
The limit on the number of trees to be felled annually in the forests was 4000. This limit had been fixed by Brandis after his visit. The annual felling was to be determined by two considerations : (1) The natural yield of the forests; (2) the aggregate stock of timber in the Oudh and Nepal depots. On this subject Cleghorn wrote: “The price at which sål timber in log is offered to the public in the Oudh Forests is 8 annas per cubic foot. In the vast forests beyond our frontier this wood is sold by the Nepalese at 6 annas per cubic foot, or Rs.8 per tree. If we are wasteful of our resources, the Maharajah of Nepal will raise his royalty, but by husbanding the forests and raising them to a high state of production, the entire demands of the market will be supplied, and the Nepalese seigniorage will remain reasonable as at present, The proposal to register the imports of timber from the Nepal Terai therefore seems to be judicious.” The previous Forest Reports had been drawn up for the Forest Year ending 30th September. At the desire of the Government of India the Reports were in future to be drafted for the financial year in order that they could be compared with the figures of other Administrations. The 1865-6 Report was so drafted. The operations therefore covered one year and seven months, during which period 5372 trees had been felled. The greater part of this timber was sold at Cawnpore and only a small portion at the depot on the Sardah River. The expenses of carrying the timber to Cawnpore were naturally greater, but the price realised was still higher in proportion and the results were very satisfactory. The Government of India wrote, however, on this transaction : "It remains to be seen whether it will always be convenient for the Forest Department to carry the timber for sale to Cawnpore.” The prices then being charged at the depot were 8 annas per cubic foot for sål logs, Rs.3.8 for sal sleepers and Rs.2 for “sissu”
sissu” planks. Outstandings of payments due were a feature of the Accounts in Oudh as elsewhere in Northern India, and it was strongly urged that these should be put an end to at the earliest possible moment. The Conservator was devoting himself to increasing the revenue from grazing and minor forest produce, and anticipated an increase of 20 per cent under these heads for the following year. A monopoly had existed in these matters, and Read's suggestion to subdivide the area of the 2nd and 3rd Divisions (there were three divisions in the Province, Khyrighur (Kheri), Baraich and Gonda) into compartments and sell the right of collection to the highest bidder had already been highly satisfactory. The question of village forests, valuation surveys and the opening out of forest roads are points of interest in Cleghorn's summary of the work being undertaken in Oudh.
“ Village Forests.-Mr. Read recommends that all timber within forest limits should be considered reserved, and placed under departmental control. (This suggestion had been referred by the Chief Commissioner to all District Officers for their opinions.) He objects to the partially authorised entrance of villagers into the reserved forests for the purpose of obtaining timber for domestic purposes, and attaches much importance to the isolation of villages from reserved forest lands, after the plan followed in Kumaun, viz. the definition of limits by the excavation of a ditch, in lieu of boundary posts or pillars. These remarks contain matter for serious consideration.