Forestry management in India as well as in Gujarat has passed through various phases. The National Forest Policy of 1988 has recognized the importance of managing our forests on silvicultural principles commensurate with the societal and environmental concerns. It also mentions that no forest be permitted to work without the government approved management plan in a prescribed format. Para 4.3.2 of the National Forest Policy clearly states :
“No forest should be permitted to be worked without the Government having approved the management plan, which should be in a prescribed format and in keeping with the National Forest Policy. The Central Government should issue necessary guidelines to the State Governments in this regard and monitor compliance.”
According to National Working Plan Code, Working Plan is a tool for scientific forest management. It is very useful for evaluating the status of forest resource of a division, assessing the impact of past management practices and deciding about suitable management interventions for future. Periodical up-dating and revision of Working Plans is essential to keep pace with the trends emerging out of forest–people interface and to address other national and international obligations. The preparation of Working Plan is a highly technical and time-framed scheduled operation. The preparation of the Working Plan is based on stock maps which is prepared through ground surveys. Recently, the use of modern tools like remote sensing, GIS & GPS is being done for preparing the forest cover maps of divisions. Every Working Plan includes the area-specific scientific prescriptions for proper management of forests of a particular forest division. Accordingly, the working circles, felling series, and annual coupe area computations are done for the plan period for implementation of the Working Plan prescriptions.
Status of Working Plans in Gujarat state
Gujarat state is situated along the western coast of the country with a total geographical area of 1,96,024 sq km having only 9.8% designated forest lands, divided by the Tropic of Cancer. The forests of Gujarat consist of four major types, namely (1) Tropical Moist Deciduous, (2) Tropical Dry Deciduous, (3) Littoral and Swamp and (4) Northern Tropical Thorny Forests. Most of the forest area is confined mainly in the districts of Valsad, Dangs, Vyara, Rajpipla, Chhotaudepur, Baria, Godhra, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Junagadh and Kachchh. Mangrove forests are mainly found in Jamnagar and Kachchh districts.
For forestry management purpose, the forests of the State are divided into 20 territorial forest divisions and 2 forest sub-divisions and these are covered under 14 approved Working Plans (as shown in the Statement). Total forest area covered under the management of Working Plans 16,14,326 ha. All of these Working Plans have basically been formulated for improving conservation and development of forest resources of the state. Clear-felling of forest area is not included in any of these plans. Much higher emphasis has been given to conservation, people’s involvement for regeneration of forests, increasing the NTFP outputs, bio-diversity conservation, medicinal plants, etc.
|Sr. No.||Name of Working Plan||Prepared By||Period||From – to||Name of Divisions||Covered Total Area (ha)|
|1||Dangs||Anoop Shukla||20||1997-1998 to 2016-2017||1|
|2||Vyara||A.K.Verma||20||1999-2000 to 2018-2019||3||Vyara||98615|
|3||Rajpipla||D.K.Sharma Being revised by Dr Jaipal Singh||10||1994-1995 to 2004-2005||4|
|4||Chhotaudepur||Rakesh Agrawal||10||2003- 04 to 2012-2013||6||Chhotaudepur||80614|
|5||Panchmahals||Rakesh Agrawal||10||1998-1999 to 2007-2008||7|
|6||Gandhinagar||R.D.Kamboj||10||2002-2003 to 2011-2012||9||Gandhinagar||11263|
|7||Sabarkantha||A.P.Singh||10||2003-2004 to 2012-2013||10|
|8||Banaskantha||Dr.A.K.Varshney||10||2004-2005 to 2013-2014||12||Banaskantha & Patan Sub-Divn||160351|
|9||Junagadh||M.V.Parmar||10||2004-2005 to 2013-2014||13||Junagadh & Porbandar Sub-Divn||38164|
|10||Bhavnagar||R.D.Kamboj||10||2002-2003 to 2011-2012||14||Bhavnagar||38852|
|11||Jamnagar||D.B.Ande||10||1999-2000 to 2008-2009||15||Jamnagar||77135|
|12||Surendranagar||R.K.Sugoor||10||2004-2005 to 2013-2014||16||Surendranagar||50143|
|13||Kutch||D.B.Ande||10||2003-2004 to 2012-2013||17|
|14||Valsad||U.D.Singh||10||2004-2005 to 2013-2014||19|
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