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Telangana govt relaxes Forest Transit Rules

Hyderabad: In a move aimed at reducing the burden on forests and to encourage production of wood outside the forest area to meet industrial and other needs, the State government on Wednesday issued an order liberalising the Forest Transit Rules. Principal Secretary, Environment, Forest, Science and Technology, Dr Rajat Kumar said that on account of the liberalisation move, farmers can raise 40 types of tree species in their farmlands and cut and sell them in markets without taking any prior permission from the Forest Department and without taking any transit permits.

“The decision will increase the income of farmers apart from increasing supply of wood from non-forest areas to meet the increasing demand of industries, construction activities and other domestic requirements,” Rajat Kumar said. Of the 40 species exempted, the important ones are bamboo, eucalyptus, casuarina, subabul, semathumma, ashoka, thadi, coconut, cashew, seemachintha, raintree and imported species of timber not grown in India. Mango is exempted in all districts except Scheduled areas and Nalgonda district. Panasa (jack fruit) is exempted in all Revenue districts except tribal areas in the State.

The most important initiative is exempting bamboo from the Forest Transit Regime. Bamboo is extensively used in rural areas and by ‘Burood Societies’ dependent on bamboo products. Bamboo is rightly called as “common man’s timber” and according to the latest orders, bamboo can be cut at any time without obtaining permission from the authorities concerned to raise contingency expenditure including purchase of seeds and fertilizers by the farmers.

Principal Secretary said the officials have been asked to bring about awareness among the farmers to take advantage of the relaxation given by the State government and to grow more and more trees under agro forestry, which will further help in increasing the green cover from 24 per cent to 33 per cent as envisaged under Telangana ku Haritha Haram (TKHH) programme.

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