Deforestation is the process of felling trees indiscriminately resulting in bare or semi-bare surface of the hill hitherto covered by thick forests.
Causes of Deforestation
Main causes responsible for deforestation are as under:
(a) Felling of trees to meet the ever increasing demand of the cities.
(b) Grazing by the local cattle, goats, sheep etc. They not only destroy the vegetation
but also pull out the roots of plants. After denudation of our Himalayas, the process
of deforestation started in the Shivalik range. Shivalik sal forests were over-exploited
for industry use, i.e. railway sleepers etc. Consequently, the foothills of the Shivaliks
are in semi desert conditions.
(c) Meeting out the growing hunger for land. It has hit the ecology of the country badly
very soon India is likely to have more of wasteland than productive land. Large scale deforestation has badly affected the weather facing almost each year more of
bleak than the normal weather.
(d) The increase in shifting (jhum) cultivation in North east and Orissa has also laid
large in forest tracts bare. As the jhum cycle is shortened to six years only (in some
districts, even 2-3 years only), too short period does not provide enough time for
natural repair of damaged ecosystem.
(e) A major cause of deforestation has been the construction of hill roads. About a
decade back, they were about 30,000 km long. Most of these roads are in state and
most fragile belt of Himalayas. Road construction damaged the protective vegetation cover both above and below roads. It blocked natural and pollution streams.