Millennium Post

'Plantation campaigns augment green cover in Joypur forest in Bankura'

Plantation campaigns augment green cover in Joypur forest in Bankura

kolkata: Joypur forest in Bankura district of West Bengal has contributed to a significant increase in the state's green cover through continuous tree planting campaigns undertaken for the last few years by the state Forest department in co-ordination with the district administration.

"There was a good amount of forest land that was being used by the local villagers for cultivation. We were able to convince them that if that land can be utilised for plantation it will augment the green cover and will increase the flow of tourists in Joypur in due course. We also received support from NREGS workers in the work through support of the gram panchayat. The gram committee was also motivated through a special initiative so that they kept an eye on preserving the plantation that was undertaken," a senior official of the district administration said,

Bittu Bhowmik, BDO Joypur said that around 20 hectares of land was brought under green cover in the 2021-22 financial year.

Joypur Forest is primarily home to trees namely Sal, Teak (Segun), Palash, Kusum, Mahua, and Neem. The Sal and Segun in particular are of very high quality, compared to other forests. Many even compare the depth of Joypur Forest to the Sunderbans, because some parts of the forest are so dense and deep that not even sunlight can penetrate.

"The growth in the forest cover has also led to the growth of wildlife particularly the Chital (Spotted Deer) who roam in the forest without fear. The staff taking care of the forest have been spotting deer herds on a regular basis. Wild elephants are also being witnessed frequently passing through certain sections of the forest," a senior official of the Forest department said.

Among other species cohabiting peacefully within the forest are wild foxes and wolves.

The red laterite soil and dry climate of the region have caused the local wolves to develop slightly differently from wolves in other regions. And then there are the birds, whose songs fill the forest with music, morning and evening.

Joypur forest is an ideal destination particularly for the more adventurous tourists. A six km drive through the dense forest will take one to a British-era, brick-built telegraph tower inside the jungle.

Often mistaken to be a tower built by the Malla Kings, this was actually one of the 45 towers that constituted the Kolkata-Varanasi optical telegraph line operated using Semaphore signals before invention of the electrical telegraph.

An abandoned airfield known as Piardoba Airfield dating back to the British era is also found in the forest.

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