Changing Face Of Bhavale Forestland

Paper on “The Changing Face Of Bhavale Forestland” presented at the National Conference On Forests For The Future Of Man on 16-17 September 2011 by Prof. (Mr.) Punam Singavi

Development of forests through peoples’ participation under Tripartite Agreements has been the pronounced policy of the Government of Maharashtra. ‘HARIYALI’, championing this cause ever since its inception in 1996, entered into one such agreement on 10th December 2008 with the Thane Division of Forest for the development of 10 (ten) hectres of substantially degraded and denuded forest forming part of S. No. 48/4A/P of village Bhavale, Tal. Bhiwandi, Dist. Thane. Outstanding feature of this Agreement has been the fact that Hariyali has signed it in the capacity of an “NGO”, as also, a “Self-funding Agency”.

Work done by Hariyali through the “Shramdan” of thousands of volunteers from cross-sections of the society over less than last three years has simply been commendable and spectacular. This involves plantation of about 25,000 (twenty five thousand) trees of assorted species (most of which were self-propagated), development of four water bodies, twenty check dams and four hundred parallel trenches.

Survival rate of the trees planted with necessary replacements during last two monsoons has been 100% as of August 2011 despite the presence of several biotic interferences, such as, cattle-grazing, fire-wood collection and man-made jungle fires. Plantation has been done through seed-sowing, as also, sapling-planting. There has been a remarkable increase in the groundwater level as per the ‘suo motto feed-back’ received from the villagers. Number and species of birds, butterflies and other species of wild-life, such as, peacocks, wild boars, mongoose, reptiles, porcupines, etc, has been on the increase. Wild flowers are blooming over an increased area and trees have grown up to a height where one can seek shelter during noon hours. Local residents have started realizing the importance and significance of development and conservation of forests through peoples’ participation.

The paper throws light on the “Changing Face of Bhavale Forestland” through peoples’ participation under the auspices of HARIYALI.