Published on: February 19, 2022
Karnataka activist seeks deemed forest status for Western Ghat areas
WHAT ARE DEEMED FORESTS
- The concept of deemed forests has not been clearly defined in any law including the Forest Conservation Act of 1980.
- However, the Supreme Court in the case of T N Godavarman Thirumalpad (1996) accepted a wide definition of forests under the Act.
- It covered all statutorily recognised forests, whether designated as reserved, protected or otherwise for the purpose of Section 2 (1) of the Forest Conservation Act.
- The term ‘forest land’ occurring in Section 2 will not only include ‘forest’ as understood in the dictionary sense but also any areas recorded as forest in the government record irrespective of the owners said the court.
The Forest Survey of India (FSI) classifies forest cover in 4 classes.
- Very Dense forest: All lands with tree cover (including mangrove cover) of canopy density of 70% and above.
- Moderately dense forest: All lands with tree cover (including mangrove cover) of canopy density between 40% and 70%.
- Open forests: All lands with tree cover (including mangrove cover) of canopy density between 10% and 40%.
- Scrubs: All forest lands with poor tree growth mainly of small or stunted trees having canopy density less than 10%.