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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: October 2011

CHAPTER 7 - Conclusion

Summary

The formation of the Forest Department in 1867 and the policies it enunciated had a far-reaching impact on the social, economic and ecological aspects of the Hyderabad State. Forest vegetation of the Hyderabad State was a part and parcel of the great deciduous belt occupying a large portion of the peninsular India. Till the middle of the nineteenth century, the State did not develop a ‘commercial attitude’ towards natural resources like forests. As elsewhere in pre-colonial India, rulers considered the right of the peasant is and tribal communities to utilize forest products. As the population was low, demand for forest recourses was also moderate and export of forest products was non-existent. There was availability of fuel, fodder and non-wood products in abundance for domestic consumption by local communities. It is generally argued that there was no significant evidence of conflicts over control of forest resources.

It is in this context that the British government introduced changes at the all India level during the nineteenth century in property relations and state restrictions on the use of natural resources by tribal and peasant communities. With the construction of railways during the 1850s and 1860s, there was an increased need to meet the demand for railway sleepers and fuel and it is in this context that the Hyderabad State felt the importance of forests. The idea of inexhaustible forests gave way to the search for suitable strategies for control, conservation and commercial exploitation of forests.