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Cover Story

Just on paper


Melghat's management plan has a separate chapter on the multiple-use area (MUA). Different zones within the area are set aside for activities such as soil and moisture conservation, meadow development and weed eradication.

A plan is also in place for bamboo harvesting in the MUA, Working scheme for bamboo bearing areas in multiple use reserved forest (outside protected area) of Melghats, period: 2004-05 to 2006-07. It observes that "complete stoppage of felling leads to closure of canopy and reduction in...grass of fodder value which normally discourages wildlife... The main aim of this scheme is to remove fallen...and over matured clumps to facilitate...healthy growth of bamboo in future. This ... shall neither disturb the ecological balance nor harm the wildlife habitat".

The plan divides the MUA into four bamboo cutting series (BCS) with almost equal bamboo bearing areas. Each BCS is then divided into three bamboo coupes: A, B and C. Coupe A is to be worked during the first working season of this scheme followed by coupes B and C (see table: Scientific, but just on paper). So, bamboo will be harvested in a three-year cycle by employing local people.

face="Verdana" size="1">Scientific, but just on paper
Bamboo harvesting in MUA

Name of
  bamboo cutting series
size="1">Coupe no (area in hectare)
Chourakund 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 Total area
Chourakund 1,037.30 1,008.70 962.30 3,008.30
Harisal 976.30 1,126.80 1,083.55 3,186.65
Hatru 1,058.00 992.50 899.00 2,949.50
Jarida 1,003.20 1,064.30 1,001.20 3,068.70
Total 4,074.80 4,192.30 3,946.05 12,213.15
Each area further divided into three coupes each.
Source: Working scheme for bamboo bearing areas in multiple use reserved
forests (outside protected area) of Melghats, period: 2004-05 to 2006-07


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