Forests are the natural wealth of a country. We have been cutting trees freely for fuel-wood and other needs. As a result of it beautiful hill stations like Mussoorie, Dehradun have been robbed of their attraction. The contractor’s axe and human greed are destroying our forests. Pressure of population, urbanization, need for more land for agriculture, railways and roadways have caused great deforestation. Scientists and economists have pointed out the importance of forests and drawn the attention of the government towards the utility of afforestation.

Oxygen is the prime need of our life. We inhale oxygen when we breathe and exhale carbon-di-oxide. Trees take it and convert it into oxygen again. So the cycle continues. Trees also cause rain. They prevent the soil from being washed away. We get food, fruits, timber and medicines from forests. Paper industry, match industry and rubber industry depends on forests. They give cool shade to rest in the hot season. They give shelter to wild animals like lions, tigers, bears, rhinos etc.

The forest Conservation Act passed by the Central Government in 1980 is a legal frame-work. According to it, the permission of the Central Government is necessary for forests area to be changed for non-forestry use. The Waste Land Development Board may build up a certain buffer area which may give more protection to the forests. Gas can be distributed to the persons as a substitute of fuel.

Experts have introduced new ideas like high-yielding forestry. Our forests can survive if forestry looks to this goal of national development. New forests should be planted. Where there is space in old forests, new trees can be planted. In spite of the need of land for habitation, crops, railways, roadways and industry, some balance must be found. More men and women should be interested in forestry. Forest colleges should open their doors to students from all fields of life.

Afforestation must be one of our main aims. It is the duty of the government and the people to preserve the forest wealth. Our government has started the festival of Van Mahotsava or the Forest Festival. There is also a Forest Research Institute at Dehradun.


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