Sunday, January 17, 2010

formation of separate Vidarbha-Kishor Rithe

Though the thermometer indicating sudden drop in the temperature at Nagpur as low as 6 degree, politically the “orange city” was hot this week. However the citizens who see the same old political faces in the protests, with the usual mad ideas of “development”, have still skeptic about the demand. But the drama has already set a serious tone this time among the general masses and that is why lets have the “WILD TALK” on this topic.Its worth consuming “some energy” on it.(we wont afford to consume more as presently the Vidarbha is using thermal power)
Let me tell you, at the beginning, that I support the move of formation of separate Vidarbha state but not on political ground. There should be purely “Development plan” based demand.
While supporting the move ,let me put my dream plan of Vidarbha. I would like my Vidarbha state (with 11 districts on board) with grid interactive Solar power driven state. I would like this state to follow stream based irrigation and small irrigation projects as an option due to its hilly and forested terrain. I would also like to protect its 37% forest intact for my next generation (along with minerals) and explore the beauty of this forest to attract tourism which can bring money for my local communities (like Kenya) to live happily at the places where they live. There should not be any migration for jobs in my Vidarbha state. My leaders should “earn 30% commission” (Less if possible. That is an essential part of our corrupt system. Let us not try to eliminate this at this moment) by promoting agro-based industries like cotton, orange, rice and dairy. Hey, and the most important, I would like to keep the identity of my Nagpur city as a “Tiger Capital of India”, by protecting 3 Tiger Reserves (Melghat Pench and Tadoba ) and their corridors which actually help provide us ecological services like climate, water, wildlife to pollinate in our agriculture to increase the food grain production.
“Jay Vidarbha! Jay Vidarbha!!”, ….hey, who is there? Stop….He has gone to participate in the protest. However I must tell you what he told me.
“If Vidarbha becomes the separate state it will have more than 33% forest cover and so we will be able to cut the “surplus” forest and build the mega irrigation projects”. However I had asked him to read “Times of India” story under caption “Statehood no green signal for tree felling” published on January 13, 2010.
My comment was published in TOI regarding the wrong notion of politicians about the forest cover. I said ”Vidarbha will still be the part of India like other forested states like Arunachal Pradesh and Chattisgarh and it will have to follow the Forest Conservation Act 1980 while considering any developmental project like dam, mine and highway on forest land”. That is not at least what my generation would want in a separate Vidarbha state.
Let me explain to readers of “WILD TALK” that Mr. Banwarilal Purohit, former MP sent a clarification to “Times of India” on this green concern expressed in the news item.
Mr. Purohit has called it an “erroneous impression” and he further gave a totally wrong and false historic background while trying to remove this impression, advocating for curtailing the forest lands.
However let me first appreciate what he has stated that “Protagonists of Vidarbha statehood are not anti-forests, nor do they want development at the cost of forests and ecology”.Thanks Mr.Purohit for expressing this understanding as its good for our grandsons and grand-daughters.
But I am worried on what he wrote further. He said that “Vidarbha which was part of Madhya Pradesh became part of Maharashtra in 1956(?). At this time, a very large area known as gaothan (grazing grounds) was handed over to forest department whereas in MP it was with the Revenue Department. And these grazing grounds were recorded as “Zudupi jungle”. As Forest Conservation Act 1980 applies to all forests including "zudupi jungle", we could not use this area for developmental projects” (So he supports bringing down present “surplus” forest cover by supporting big developmental projects on these lands)
This is totally wrong explanation which he gave to TOI and he needs to verify this from the lawyer or expert forest officer, whom he trust.
Let me tell him that the Vidarbha Region which was part of Madhya Pradesh till 1959 basically formed from two erstwhile different land administrative entities, viz. Central Province and Berar. The Berar Region (Varhad) was assigned to the British by the Nawab of Hydrabad in 1853 and was controlled by a Resident stationed at Hydrabad. By the turn of the century, there were six districts in Berar, viz. Amraoti, Ellichpur, Akola, Washim, Wani and Buldhana. When Vidarbha joined the Maharashtra, these districts came to Maharashtra with the following land classification-
Hydrabad Residency Notification No. 184, dated 6 June, 1892, notified the following classes of State Forests -
Class A : Forests for the production of timber and firewood
Class B : High Grasslands or Ramnas
Class C : Grazing lands
C (i) : Grazing lands not ordered to be reverted during settlement
C (ii) : Grazing lands ordered not to be reverted during settlement.
Class D : Other forest areas which may eventually be included in one of the above classes of forests or to be reverted to the ordinary control of Revenue Department.
The Forest administration had already got separated from the Revenue Department in 1901, forest areas of Classes A, B and C ( i ), which were directly controlled by the forest officers, remained with the Forest department. Other State forests including class C(ii),D,E,F,G,H and I were retained by the Revenue department.
Mr.Purohit is talking about the “gaothans”, he wrote, (grazing lands).Lets see where these words are in the classification-
Class E : Survey numbers assigned for free grazing not included in the forest area
Class F : Survey numbers assigned for village purposes other than free
grazing, such as gaothan, Khalwadi, burial ground, playing fields, assessed grazing fields, land set apart for purpose of Nature etc.
Class G : Uncultivable fields not included in any of the following:
Class H : Assessed fields available for cultivation
Class I: Areas such as village sites, tanks, rivers etc. not included in any survey number.
This clearly states that Mr. Purohit has put up the issue of “Zudupi jungle” and development of Vidarbha wrongly. “Gaothans” and “grazing lands” are two different land entities under "F" class and "E" class respectively. However both were not with the forest department when Vidarbha came in Maharashtra.
(In 1954, The M. P. Land Revenue Code was promulgated and the Berar as well as Central Provinces Land Revenue Code were repealed. The M. P. Code extended to lands other than those classified as reserved forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.The M. P. Code was not implemented till 1959, and in 1960, the State of Maharashtra came into existence with effect from 1 May, 1960.)
I will go further and state that the interim order passed by the Supreme Court on 12 December 1996, in Civil Writ Petition Nos. 171/96 and 202 / 95, has, actually put the issue of “Zudupi jungle” in the proper perspective. As per this order, all lands recorded as “forest” in any government record, irrespective of their ownership, are covered by the provisions of the Act. Further, while deciding the status of "forest" in respect of any land, the dictionary meaning of the word "forest" is to be taken into account. The Supreme Court order goes beyond the official status accorded to these lands and directs that provisions of the Act be made applicable to all such areas as are traditionally recognized as forest by the common man, “irrespective of its ownership”.
I think, the readers of “WILD TALK” who want separate Vidarbha just on the “development basis” would understand this. The political leadership of new Vidarbha state should be more studied and should actually discuss the “development agenda” rather than simply making sentimental appeals.
Jay Vidarbha!! Jay Vidarbha!...Hey...who is there?Let me listen and argue with this protagonist now.We will talk later.......
Kishor Rithe
1st Floor, "Pratishtha" ,
Bharat Nagar,
Akoli Road, Near Sainagar,
Amravati Pin-444607
Maharashtra State.


Kumar said...

Dear Kishor
Very good view & thought
Shirishkumar Patil

Roshan said...

Very Good Article. Thanks.

abhijit gajanan said...

separate vidarbha is a nonsense idea. give up. maharashtra forever.

abhijit gajanan said...

Separate vidarbha is a nonsense idea. Give it up now.