INTRODUCTION OF BANKURA FOREST
Forests and its fringe people are important in south Bengal. By knowing the importance of forest and related administration to serve the larger number of the people, the West Bengal Government had taken decision way back from India’s pre-Independence period to create Forest Administration in the following manner to provide conservation and management for Forest flora and fauna and deliver people friendly services to those living in and around the forests. In that way, Bankura Division was created with headquarter at Bankura vide G.O. NO. 614- For dated 06-10-1947.Working Plan South Division-IIwas created with headquarters since 1966. Bankura Division was split intoBankura (North) Division and Bankura (South) Divisionwith headquarters at Bankura vide G.O. No. 1119- For/45-413/78 dated 28-02-1979. The Panchet Soil Conservation Divisionwas created with headquarter at Bishnupur vide G.O. No.-2891- For/FR/O/D/1/4E-2/95 dated 27-06-95 and 2668/Z (7)- For 26-06-95 by carving territory from Bankura North and South Division. The entire Bankura territorial forest Administration is comes under the control of the Chief Conservator of Forests, Central Circle, who has the Office at Survey Building, Alipur-Kolkata.
Mainly the Officers from Indian Forest Service and State Service Officers who have posted at district level is control the administration and trying to provide people centric services by having head quarter at Bankura. Total forest area of Bankura District, which comprises of three Divisions viz, Bankura (North) Division, Bankura (South) Division and Panchet Division, which is about 1463.56 sq km territorial forest jurisdiction and covers 21.27 % percent of the total land area of the district. Per capita forest in this district is 0.046 ha, whereas the figure is 0.02 ha for the whole of West Bengal. Reserved Forest – 44.48 Sqkm. Protected Forest – 1391.95 Sqkm. Un-classed State Forest – 27.13 Sqkm.
In Forest areas, majority of the population depend on the forest for various purposes like grazing, firewood, collection of Sal leaves & seeds, mushrooms etc. Since the pressure on the forests is high therefore, some minimum amount of forest degradation is almost become unavoidable. However, the joint Forest Management has taken roots in the District and its contribution for greening and conserving the forests of the district is immense. The Joint Forest Management (JFM) aims at all round development of forest fringe areas.
Bankura district forest is predominatelySal and its associated species and plantation forest of Eucalyptus and Akarshmoni (Acacia/auriculiformis). Bankura holds one of the best quality Sal forests in West Bengal particularly at Sonamukhi, Radhanagar, and Patrasayer and in entire BishnupurSub-divisional Jurisdiction. A typical red-lateritic soil covered with medium densitySal forests is the typical symbol of Bankura forest. Its floral bio diversity increased very significantly over the period of time. The qualitative change in the species mix really made facelift in the Bankura forest. Over the time, faunal diversity had improved a lot.To address the democratic system of forest management “people and forest” concept was introduced in the name of JFMCs (Joint Forests Management Committees) in South Bengal. We are implementing various schemes and projects like NREGS, State Plan, 13th Finance Commission, CSS Elephant project etc to improve the living condition of the forest fringe area population to gain good will as such it is after all people management is ultimate way of forest management.
Elephant depredation is one of the major issues at Bankura, this is due to very fast growing elephant population and seasonally moving elephant start staying back in Bankura for longer time and also the number of residential elephant population has increased very significantly. By the help of local forest protection committee members we are trying our best to tackle the issue with human face but at time it becomes very serious issue. The Govt and its machineries are trying its best to provide all short of assistance to mitigate the problem but the gap between demand and supply remains almost un-unchanged for long time.