Maha loses a bamboo blanket equal to 3 Tadobas | Nagpur News

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Nagpur: Even though the Maharashtra Forest Department may be patting it on the back due to an increase in Very Dense Forest (VDF) by 13 km², Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) by 17 km² and overall forest cover of 30 km², there has been a drastic reduction of 1,882 km² of bamboo cover, equivalent to more than three Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserves (TATR) spanning 625 km².
According to the biennial State of India’s Forest Report (ISFR) released on Thursday, the state’s bamboo area in 2019 was 15,408 km2 in Registered Forest Area (RFA) or greenwash areas. In 2021, it is 13,526 km², i.e. a loss of 1,882 km².
When contacted to investigate the reasons for the decrease, PCCF (production and management) Jeet Singh did not respond to repeated calls from TOI.
Maharashtra (1.35 million hectares) has the third largest bamboo production area in the country, behind Madhya Pradesh (1.84 million hectares) and Arunachal Pradesh (1.57 million hectares). ). The state’s decrease is the second highest after MP, which lost 2,473 km2.
The senior forestry officials said, “We don’t know what methodology the Forest Survey of India (FSI) interpreted and the time period they took the images, but if the data is true, it’s really serious because the magnitude of the loss is enormous. . We have to pull up our socks.
Gadchiroli Honorary Wildlife Warden Uday Patel points to various reasons for the depletion of bamboo cover. “One of the main reasons is clear-cut logging where all miscellaneous trees, bamboos, vines and shrubs are felled for monoculture teak plantations by FDCM and territorial wings.” says Patel.
“Forest fires, grazing and large-scale illegal logging for matting and fencing, in addition to the diversion of bamboo-bearing areas under Community Forest Rights (CFR) and PESA are a another reason,” Patel said and added, “The consumption of bamboo shoots by humans and pets in addition to flowering bamboo is also depleting the stock.
Wildlife advocate Prafulla Bhamburkar said the depletion of bamboo cover would make it difficult for herbivores and tigers to survive. “Bamboo plays a vital role in protecting biodiversity by providing habitat for a number of wild animals. These animals depend on bamboo for food and shelter,” he said.
According to FRA protagonist Dilip Gode, forest fires are responsible for the depletion of bamboo cover. “Most of the bamboo in the state is found in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur and both districts including the protected areas are extremely fire prone,” he said.
Gode ​​said, “The FDCM and the forest department itself are harvesting huge bamboo and therefore the loss of bamboo cover is in the RFA areas. Illegal logging has been going on for ages and it is the job of the Forest Department to fix accountability. Instead of blaming FRA, the ISP should point out areas where coverage has dropped.
The Managing Director of Maharashtra Bamboo Development Board (MBDB), Mr Srinivasa Rao, said: “I have not gone through the report, but the work of MBDB is to promote the cultivation of bamboo outside of forest areas and not the harvesting .
For bamboo expert and consultant Pratap Goswami, the depletion of the bamboo blanket is surprising “because paper mill consumption has decreased by 90%”. “These factories are now using wood pulp instead of bamboo pulp because wood is more cost effective than bamboo. Another reason is that the pollution control cost of bamboo is higher than that of wood,” he said.
Goswami also sought to find out from the forest department how much bamboo he had lost in terms of metric tons over 1,882 km2. “The density of bamboo before its loss in the area needs to be determined and whether other tree species are also lost in the affected area,” he said.
“Furthermore, no new bamboo industry has emerged in the region or in the country that can generate bamboo consumption. It is possible that bamboo consumption has increased for scaffolding, housing and construction. But even this increase is marginal,” Goswami said.
WOOD ON THE DECLINE
* State bamboo area increased from 15,408 sq km in 2019 to 13,526 sq km in 2021
* Second highest reduction in the country after Madhya Pradesh, which lost 2,473 km2
* Experts indicate that forest fires, grazing, illegal logging, diversion of bamboo areas, consumption of bamboo shoots and flowering of bamboo are possible reasons
* Say that depletion of cover will make it difficult for herbivores and tigers to survive
* Want the forest department to fix the responsibility
Report removed from ISP website
A day after Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav released the State of India’s Forests 2021 report to much fanfare in Delhi, the Forest Survey of India (FSI), headquartered in Dehradun , removed the report from its website. Maharashtra forestry officials, who are not ready to believe the state’s bamboo cover has shrunk by 1,882 sq km, fear that this was done to eliminate the anomalies. However, FSI chief executive Anoop Singh told TOI that the report was taken down to correct the formatting. “There’s nothing like mistakes,” he said.

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