BHOPAL: People in the rural areas do not have to take permission for felling trees on their farmlands. They may plant saplings on their land and sell when those seedlings grow into trees. They do not have to take permission for it. The forest department is set to amend the Plantation Act in the next assembly session. The department is ready to put up the proposal before the Cabinet on December 22. Once the scheme gets Cabinet nod, it will be put up before the House. The Bill is, however, meant for the rural areas only.
For felling a tree in an urban area, one has to take permission according to procedures. Nonetheless, for cutting a Saal tree even in rural area, one has to take permission, as such trees are exempted from the proposed Bill. The government’s aim to bring the Bill is to promote agro forestry. By giving permission to the farmers and rural people to fell a tree on their farmlands, the government wants to encourage them to go for agro forestry. According to the forest officers, the farmers should plant saplings on their farmlands and, when those seedlings grow into trees, they can increase their income by selling them.
The Bill, being prepared for this purpose, will not only make the farmers and others understand the importance of trees, but also increase their income. Social activist Ajay Dube says the forest department should encourage plantation instead of making laws for cutting trees. Such laws will encourage people to fell trees. The forest department may allow a farmer to fell a tree on his own land, but people will begin to cut trees from government land on the pretext of the Bill.