Divisional Forest Officer

Name of the Head of Office

Sri Asis Kumar Samanta, IFS

Address of the Office

Michael Madhusudan Nagar, Medinipur-721101

Phone No+Fax: (03222)275869

E-mail: dfomd@yahoo.com

History

1945: The first Division created in Midnapore vide G.O no. 34 For., dated 29.10.1945 was styled as West Bengal Forest Division having jurisdictions over the two districts of Bankura and Midnapore.

1947: The jurisdictions over Bankura District was taken away by creation of Bankura Forest Division vide G.O no. 614 For., dt. 06.10.1947 and the parent Division was designated as Midnapore Division.

1954: Midnapore Forest Division was split into two divisions, viz., East Midnapore Division with headquarters at Midnapore and West Midnapore Division with headquarters at Jhargram.

1995: Rupnarayan Division was formed by splitting East Midnapore Division.

2007: East Midnapore Division was renamed as Midnapore Forest Division.

2008: Midnapore Forest Division was re-designated as Medinipur Division.

Purpose/Objective

The object of creation of West Bengal Forest Division was preparation and checking of working plans of erstwhile private forest and also for initiating experiments on afforestation of waste lands.Midnapore division was split up in 1954 for proper management of forests vested in Government under Estate Acquisition Act of 1953.

Location giving boundary

The area lies between 22º49¢ and 22º23¢ North Latitude and 87º30' and 87º00' East Longitudes and bounded on the North and West by Rupnarayan Forest Division and river Kangsabati, on the East by Medinipur-Keshpur-Road and Kharagpur Forest Division and on the South by river Kangsabati.

Geology, Rock and Soil

The parent rock is a mixture of metamorphic rocks of sedimentary origin and igneous rocks both basic and acidic. Laterite, the characteristic formation of the district, occupies a large tract. The thickness of the laterite varies from place to place but is not known to exceed 15m in this area. The sandy loam and loamy soil of reddish or reddish brown colour covers the upper layers of almost the whole area.

Topography

The area has a very gentle slope from East to West. The North-South Railway line from Medinipur to Bankura divides this tract into two district zones. The one falling to the East is almost level while the other is a gently rolling country punctuated by a small rise here and a matching fall there.

Climate

This tract experiences three seasons in a year. A hot season spanning from March to early June, a slight wet season lasting from mid-June to September and a cold season covering the rest. Temperature begin to rise rapidly from about the beginning of March-April and May are the hottest months with the mean daily maximum temperature reaching 39ºC and the mean daily minimum falling to about 26ºC. The maximum temperature during the period April to the early part of June at times reaches 45ºC to 46ºC. In winter months the minimum temperature may occasionally go down to as low as 6ºC. The annual average rainfall is 1500 mm.

Flora and Fauna

This area is covered predominantly with Sal of coppice origin on an average 60% area is covered with Sal and the rest is covered with plantation, scrub jungles and bushes.Sal forest in this region fall under major group - II, dry tropical forests group-5, tropical dry deciduous forests, sub group-5 (b), Northern tropical dry deciduous forests (c) (I) dry Sal bearing forests (c) (ii) dry peninsular Sal forests according to Champion and Seth’s classification of forests types.These forests occur in disjointed patches of varying sizes and in many instances an island among cultivation fields and habitation.The usual associates of Sal in this region are Pterocarpus marsupium, Madhuca latifolia, Schleichera oliosa, Terminalia arjuna, Terminalia belerica, Bombax ceiba etc.Plantation mostly includes Eucalyptus, Akashmoni, Bamboo and Kaju etc.

For proper management of the forests the following Working Circles are adopted.

(a) Sal Conversion Working Circle -.

(b) Sal Timber Reserve Working Circle -.

(c) Development Working Circle -

No significant numbers of wild fauna are found in forests. As the condition of the forests is becoming favorable for wild life habitat after F.P.C. protection, fewer numbers of Jungle cat, baboons, python, wild boor and different avifauna are increasingly being reported. Such is the suitability of habitat that 5-10 wild elephants have become residents to these forests. The Avifauna like ducks, storks, snips, teals, etc. is very common. Jangle fowl is lacking. Venomous snakes such as cobra, krait, banded krait and Russell vipers are found.Wild elephants from Dalma Sanctuary are regular visitor to these forests during August to February every year. Due to scattered nature of forests, very often there rise man animal conflicts during this season.

Degree of Pressure on Forest Resources

Forest fringe area dwellers collect to varying degree on the local forest resources for meeting their daily need and in the process exert pressure on the forest. The pressure exerted on the forest depends on a host of factors, prominent among them are economic condition of villagers, number and breed of livestock, presence or absence of rural infrastructure etc.Most of the FPC villages are lying surrounded the vicinity of forest area where limited infrastructure, low cash income and non-availability of modern commercial energy sources like Kerosene, LPG, Electricity pose restriction on replacing traditional fuel. Hence, 50% of the total requirement is to collect from the nearby forest area.Most of the infringe area people is very poor, the cattle become the main source of livelihood of some of the families in the villages and some keep the cattle to supplement their income. For the stated purpose they are to depend upon the forest resources and nearly 10% of the total requirements are collected as fodder from the forest area. Grazing is the most common biotic interference towards the forest resources. All the cattle belonging to these villages meet up their 30% of daily food by means of grazing inside the forest area.People of these villages are very much conscious about the social forestry concept. So they have utilized all of their waste land whatsoever by planting tree species like Akashmoni, Eucalyptus, Neem, and Sissoo. Their regular requirement like agricultural requirements, posts, rafter are met from these trees. Balance 5% of the total requirements are collected from forest area.The main NTFP collected from the forest area are thatching grasses, Mahua seeds, Sal seeds, Sal leaves, honey, medicinal herb, bamboos etc. This is nearly 3% of the total collection. Since the forest area is more or less level area, tendency of encroachment amongst a few landless villagers are noticed. It is more or less 2%.

Hierachical structure of the Office & its functionaries

Organization Chart

Acts, Statutes, Rules, administered by the office:

  1. Indian Forest act, 1927
  2. Wildlife (protection) act, 1972
  3. Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
  4. West Bengal forest (Establishment and Regulation of Saw-Mills and other Wood-Based Industries) Rules, 1982.
  5. West Bengal Forest Produce Transit Rules,1959
  6. W.B. Trees (Protection& Conservation in Non-Forest Areas)Act, 2006
  7. Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act,2006
  8. Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  9. FPC Resolution for the district of South West Bengal ( i.e. East Midnapore, WestMidnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Burdaman and Birbhum(2759 For dt. 17.08.04)

Schemes implemented by the Office

Website links:

Department in State of West Bengal: http://www.westbengalforest.gov.in

Department at Centre: http://www.envfor.nic.in