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March 2012 VANA PREMI

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MARCH - 2012
Vol .13
No. 3
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March 2012 VANA PREMI
1. President : Ex-Officio President of Assn.
2. Editor : Qamar Mohd. Khan
Tel : 40121132, 9849233624
e-mail : qamar_asima@yahoo.com
3. Associate
Editor : Sardar Iqbal Singh,
Tel : 9989850898
4. Member : A.H. Qureshi, IFS (Retd.)
5. Convenor : Ex-officio Secy.of Assn
Vol : 13 No. 3 March 2012
Editor : Qamar Mohd. Khan Associate Editor : Sardar Iqbal Singh
The Association of Retired Forest Officers,
Andhra Pradesh(Regd. No. 557/1990)
President : Sri. S.D. Mukherji, I.F.S. (Retd.)
Tel : 23551065, 9885236493
Vice President : Sri. Krishna Bhoopal Rao, I.F.S. (Retd.)
Tel : 23743774, 9866307808
Secretary : Sri K. Santokh Singh, I.F.S. (Retd.)
Tel : 27962929, 9848808101
Jt. Secretary : Sri. P. Upender Reddy, Dy. C.F.(Retd.)
Cum Treasurer Tel. 23342582, 9848754778
Editoriral Board
Back side of front and last cover page
(Colour) for one year ...................................... Rs. 20,000/-
Outer Cover half (Colour) for one year ........... Rs. 15,000/-
Inner Center Spread (Colour) for one year .... Rs. 20,000/-
Inner full page (B&W) for one year .............. Rs. 15,000/-
Inner half page (B&W) for one year .............. Rs. 10,000/-
Inner full page One Time (B&W) ....................... Rs. 2000/-
Inner half page One Time (B&W) ...................... Rs. 1500/-
Excutive committee members
1. Sri C. Subba Rao, I.F.S. (Retd.), 9848018796
2. Sri Sultan Mohiuddin, I.F.S.(Retd.), 9440057333
3. Sri M. Padmanabha Reddy, I.F.S. (Retd.), 9849269105
4. Sri J.V. Subba Rao, 9848486146
5. Sri A. V. Govinda Rajulu, 9440764611
Totla pages 40
1. Editorial ..................... QMK 2
2. letters to the Editor...... 4
3. Visit to Eastern Paradises
..............................M. Kamal Naidu 5
4. Trip to Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
.................................... S.D. Mukherji 11
5. Verily you are compelled to admire
and like to know more about him!
.......... Dr. Raghotham Rao Desai 19
6. Birthday Greetings... S.S.S 23
7. Notice ........................ Secretary 23
8. Why JOG Falls Have Been
Reduced to a Trickle 24
9. What is a Grandparent? 26
10. Notice ...........B. Surender Kumar 26
11. Did You Know? ......... 27
12. Save Urdu from Narrow - Minded
Politics........Murli Manohar Joshi 30
13. Roll of Honour .......... K.B.R. 31
14. Invitation ................... Secretary 31
15. News and Notes ....... 32
16. Legal Notes............... K.B.R. 36
17. -+- |+- :: .-.. aa
18. t eet c+ e ---.. : +a
+a cr.- cec. .ee---.. : +a
March 2012 VANA PREMI
World Sparrow Day:- The World Sparrow Day
(WSD) will be celebrated on 20th March across
the globe to raise public awareness about the
decline of the population of house sparrows and
throw light on the problems faced by the
species in its daily fight for survival. The first World
Sparrow Day was celebrated on March 20, 2010
across the globe. National and international
organisations, NGOs, clubs and societies,
universities, schools and individuals across the
world celebrated the event by organizing
awareness programs.
The house sparrow (Passer domesticus indicus) is
perhaps one of the earliest birds we can
remember from our childhood. Their nests
dotted almost every house in the
neighbourhood as well as public places like bus
bays and railway stations, where they lived in
colonies and survived on food grains and tiny
worms. I remember that in my childhood I have
seen large number of House Sparrows in our
houses, mainly in the holes and cavities of the
wall, upper cups of the electric fans, ventilators,
under the country tiles of houses and many other
places. We used to capture this bird and after
some time we used to release it. Many bird
watchers and ornithologists recall with fondness
how the house sparrow gave flight to their
passion for observing birds.
The association between humans and the house
sparrow dates back to several centuries and no
other bird has been associated with humans on
a daily basis like the house sparrow. It is a bird
that evokes fond memories and has thus found
mention in folklore and songs from time
immemorial. The house sparrows main diet
consists of grain. If grain is not available, their
diet is very broad and adaptable.
The majority of the nest building is done by the
male, but it is not uncommon for the female to
help. The majority of house sparrows will select
a cavity for nesting, but it is not uncommon for
them to nest in trees. The female will lay three
to five white/brown speckled eggs and will
incubate the eggs for 12 to 13 days. The young
sparrows fledge after 15 to 17 days in the nest,
and since house sparrows are non-migratory,
they never wander too far from their place of
Unfortunately, the house sparrow is now a
disappearing species. But like all other plants
and animals which were once abundant and are
now facing an uncertain future, their numbers
are also declining across their natural range.
What are the reasons for its disappearance?
Certainly, there is no one single reason for the
decline of house sparrow. Its slow but noticeable
disappearance has been label as one of the
biggest mysteries of recent times.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Possible reasons for decline in Population
) Introduction of unleaded petrol:Denis
Summers- Smiths theory was that the
unleaded fuel, believed to be eco-friendly,
had harmful by products. The fuel uses Methyl
Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) as an anti-knocking
agent. Along with by-products of combustion,
this kills small insects. The insecticidal nature
of the by-products makes the food for those
birds feeding on insects scarce. Though adult
sparrows can survive without insects in their
diet, they need insects to feed their young.
) Field bean theory:Formerly, India used to buy
field beans as pods in vegetable markets.
When the pod was broken, larvae
(Helicoverpaa-rmigera) came out, to be
promptly devoured by sparrows. But now that
fresh seeds are available in packets, these
larvae have disappeared, depriving the
) Old spacious buildings are being replaced by
match-box flats.
) Mono-culture (single variety) grasses that
have become a fad and that are grown for
beautification by destroying various native
varieties of grasses, depletion of other flora
and fauna that they depend upon.
) Receding tree cover - reducing bushes, and
grasses in cities and towns.
) Paved gardens, with no mud to bathe in.
) Hedges being replaced by wrought iron
) Use of chemically treated seeds: A sparrow
feeds mainly on seeds. Similarly, the treated
grains available in the market are also a slow
poison for the bird. On an average each
sparrow will eat a staggering figure of 1000
caterpillars per year which is better than a
chemical pesticide with harmful side effects.
) Increased predation by owls cats, and other
species, competition for food by pigeons,
crows and mynas.
) The criss-crossing cable wires and the flow of
electromagnetic waves from cell phone
towers injure the sparrows. It causes irritation,
it reduces their reproductive capacity. In our
country Mohammed Dilawar has been named
one of Time Magazines Heroes of
Environment for his efforts to get Indian
citizens to realize their House Sparrow
population declining and make efforts
towards conservation. Mr.Dilawar has some
practical conservation suggestions to help the
House Sparrow and native Indian birds:
) Restore gardens and green spaces in the
urban landscape
) change modern architecture to provide
nesting cavities
) provide appropriate food
) protect against microwave pollution
) reduce pesticide use
) diversify agriculture and avoid mono-
. Let us all work together to save this tiny bird for
our own survival. QMK
March 2012 VANA PREMI
1. Sir,
Having been enthused by your warm letter to (try to compile and) despatch an article or two for the
favourite monthly and mouthpiece of APARFOA, and being encouraged by the idea that the articles also
could be written on alien subjects as well, (which had been the case during the period of Sri. KBR Reddy,
BSc, LLB, IFS, who was the founder-editor of your esteemed magazine for well over a decade, and to
whom the credit goes for having very ably and worthily guided its destiny through the turbulent teething-
period, soliciting the articles and enrolling the life-members, while enriching it with scholarly editorials/
articles/legal notes/tit-bits, etc...) I had been able to comply in the form of two sketches (The Prophet
&Alhaj Wahab Andleeb) which are being appended hereto for further needful, hoping that they are to
your liking.
I have also just received the latest issue of the journal for 2/2012 which contains a beautiful and stylish
article of Sri M. Kamal Naidu and a thought-provoking tribute by KBR (under the caption Roll of Honour),
and Sri. JV Sharmas Bechara un ravelling the mysteries (in a very charming way) through a finely got up
article, among others, following your editorial on a contemporary subject of World Wetlands Day.
Interestingly one is compelled to have nostalgic memories after having gone through the news item
Gold price history for the last 86 years! This was indeed well re searched and documented.
With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Dr.Raghotham Rao Desai
2. Sir,
I have great pleasure to inform that by reading the article, Young man at 83 by Sri M. Kamal Naidu, IFS
(Retd) in Vana Premi February 2012 edition was inspiring the working Forest Officers.
In this context, I am to inform that I met you sir as probationer at Project Tiger, Srisailam during 1987
during our practical training in wild life.
In this connection, I am to inform that I am also interested in Raising of Sandal Wood nurseries Red
Sanders nurseries and plantations, the way shown in the article as monoculture and without the help of
host plant. I would like to know the contact No. & address of Sri Jagannadha Reddy Garu, DFO (Retd) to
know further information on the raising of Red Sanders and Sandal Wood nurseries and Plantations.
Hope my request may be considered.
Yours Sincerely,
K. Khadar Basha,
Editors Note: Readers can contact young man at 83 on his mobile number 8008128484 for further
March 2012 VANA PREMI
It was in August 2011, I needed to go to Guwahti
for the meeting of the Supreme Court
Commission. I got an invitation call from PCCF
Sikkim Mr.Lachungpa for a visit to Gangtok, since
he was to retire in December, and also from
PCCF Meghalaya Mr.Nautiyal, batchmate of retd.
PCCF Madhukaraj, to visit Shillong. Both the
invitations were tempting but the priority
became Sikkim, for I had not visited it earlier,
especially with Mr.Lachungpa to retire. I had
missed a visit to Sikkim narrowly in 1975, when
I went up to Kalimpong as the instructor at
Forest Academy owing to paucity of time, when
accompanying probationers, Awasthi's batch.
Therefore ceasing the opportunity to visit
Sikkim, I confirmed my trip. I went to Guwahti,
took a flight to Bagdogra in North Bengal. I was
received by the Sikkim Tourism Dept. staff with
an excellent comfortable vehicle, to take us up
the steep winding road to Gangtok, 120 km.
away. I soon realized that the Sikkim Tourism
Dept. was manned by a CCF on deputation, and
so the arrangement.
We had to travel by the longer route via
Darjeeling to reach Gangtok, because the main
shorter route was blocked due to a large
landslide, being the normal feature during the
rainy season. So we were taken via Mirik to
M. Kamal Naidu
Darjeeling. Mirik is very notable for its 1.25 km
long lake fed by perennial streams, having a
floating fountain in its middle, and a beautiful
garden around. It was stated that on very clear
days the glorious Kanchenjunga can be seen
reflected in it. We passed through many orange
gardens, for Mirik is the largest supplier of
oranges in North Bengal. We soon passed through
Cryptomeria plantations introduced here, and
are fairing here better than in Japan. We soon
reached Darjeeling, popularly called as Queen
of the Hills, and passed through without much
sight seeing, having seen it thrice earlier. We
passed through the Chowrasta, a wide
promenade atop the ridge lined by shops and
restaurants, the heart of the town. While enroute
to Kurseong saw the famed gigantic, 360 degree
Batasia loop turn, made by the narrow gauge
Toy Train, officially known as Darjeeling
Himalayan Railway, honoured by UNESCO World
Heritage Status, a great favourite of the tourists
for its grandeur of scenic beauty. This was made
famous by the picture Junglee. We bypassed the
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the
Tiger Hill famed for seeing the Kanchenjunga
on clear days, partly due to paucity of time, and
to reach Gangtok early before it gets dark.
Passing through Kurseong, famed for the Forest
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Rangers College set up in 1975, with my batch-
mate AK Lahiri, of West Bengal Cadre, as its
founder principal. Besides this the place is
famous for the serenity and healthy climate, and
Rabindranath Tagore composed many of his
poems and songs here. Further it was here that
Netaji Subbhas Chandra Bose was interned by
the British in 1936, and also Sister Nivedita,
disciple of Swami Vivekananda made it her
home. After snacks and a hot cup of the famed
Darjeeling Choy, we proceed down to the
Teestha River, crossed the bridge to the other
side of the turbulent river, bypassing Kalimpong,
reached the check-post to Sikkim, at Rangpo. We
soon reached our place of stay at the State Guest
House, near the State Assembly.
Next day morning, Mr. Manjunath, the
Conservator Working Plans, was detailed by the
PCCF during our stay, gave us a brief introduction
to the state of Sikkim. The state was an
independent Buddhist kingdom ruled by
Chogyals from 14
century, since the divine
revelation instructed Prince Khye Rumsa to
travel south from eastern Tibet, to seek his family
fortunes. By the beginning of 1970 there was
political rumbling which demanded removal of
monarchy, and establishment of a democratic
setup. The events led to abolishing of the
institution of Chogyal, and the popular
government opted to be the 22
state of India
in 1975.
The state is 7100 sq.km ranging from 800ft to
28,200ft in altitude. Its climate ranged from
tropical to alpine, and is regarded as one of the
26 bio-diversity hot spots with a very diverse
flora and fauna. The state has one Kanchendonga
National Park spread over 850 sq. km, and six
wildlife sanctuaries, which together constitute
over 30% of its total geographical area. The state
is veritably a treasure house of some of the
worlds most beautiful scenic streams, lakes and
waterfall amidst the lush green vegetation. The
place has panoramic locations with plenty of
Buddhist monasteries and other pilgrimage
centres, rich in unique culture, tradition with
intricately designed handicrafts and handloom
products. The people are warm and hospitable.
Gangtok is located on a ridge with the town
spread on its either side having an excellent
view of the awe inspiring, gigantic, spectacular
Kanchanjunga, the third highest peak in the
world. We were fortunate to see its grandeur,
from such a close range for a very short moment,
when it got cleared of clouds in the afternoon.
Mr Manjunath said that our day was made to see
such a sight in this month of August. This place
was an important transit point for traders
between India and Tibet, and has an interesting
mix of cultures and communities. Then we had a
breath taking view of the town from the cable
car of the ropeway, starting from Deorali market,
and ending up at the top, below the secretariat,
in the very first trip starting at 9.30 AM, getting
March 2012 VANA PREMI
an excellent view of the river 1000m below. On
getting off the cable car, proceeded to Nan-
Nang view point, also known as the lovers point.
This point sure did bring back our youthful vigour
for further visits of the day. Thereafter we visited
Ganesh Tok temple to start of the day of sight
seeing on the out skirt of Gangtok with his
blessings, followed by Hanuman Tok further
beyond for giving us the strength and energy for
the strenuous trip ahead. Here nearby we visited
the Himalayan Zoological Park covering 200 ha
of my interest, exhibiting the representative
endangered eastern Himalayas animals like the
black bear, clouded snow leopard, red panda,
Tibetan wolf, Himalayan tahr, ghoral and musk
deer, etc. in open and closed enclosures. As a
sample of the innumerable monasteries, we saw
the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Monastery, the seat
of Kagyu order of Buddhism, one of the 4 major
Tibetan sects, which was traditional in design,
and said to be almost a replica of the original at
Kagyu headquarters, in Tibet. It had a collection
of some of the most unique Buddhist religious
art objects. Another most impressive spots was
the Flower exhibition centre, exhibiting some
of the world famous orchids and seasonal
flowers, where the PCCF Mr.Lachungpa, a local
of Sikkim had considerable association. We
ended the day of sight seeing at the MG Marg,
the main street of Gangtok, lined with shops on
both sides, with vehicles being prohibited
during rush hours to make it safe for the children
and elderly. This had a park lie divider, with
seating facilities.
Later in the evening we went to the PCCF
MrLachungpa house to see his personal estate,
which he had purchased when he entered
service, on the out skirts of the town. Here we
saw that he had set up several cottages, with
excellent facilities for high level tourists. His wife
who was a teacher was managing it very
competently. I asked as to why I was not kept
there in such an excellent facility. She stated that
since the State Guest House was very excellent
for my short stay, right inside the town, of two
nights and three days. Later in the evening, on
return back home of MrLachungpa PCCF from
his office, we sat in their common dining hall for
guests residing in their 10 guest rooms, to taste
some of their delicious Sikkimese food and
drinks. It started with momos, a favorite of
Sikkimese which are steamed dumplings along
with Thupka, a typical Tibetan style noodles
soup, accompanied with Ningro made out of
wild ferns, and Medu, a traditional fermented
bamboo shoot pickle. These were followed up
with Sael roti made of rice paste mixed with
milk and sugar, deep fried and eaten with potato
and mutton curry. These were accompanied with
Chaang, a mild sweet-sour cereal based
fermented alcoholic beverage. After these we
headed back to our guest house for a satisfied
sweet slumber to rest our very tired limbs, in
our cosy beds.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Next morning we were to go to Nathula Pass,
which became famously known to everyone
during the Chinese aggression of 1962, located
at 14,400 ft. on the old caravan trail to Tibet. It
had been opened for tourists recently. We could
not make it due to a big landslide enroute, at the
45 km from Gangtok, over the night, due to the
continuous drizzle over the area the previous
day. However we were fortunate to avail the
helicopter ride of the Sikkim tourism dept. with
a very competent knowledgeable guide, who
seemed a good historian as well as a good
naturalist, ideal for my interests. It was almost a
forty minutes trip taking us over western Sikkim
than north Sikkim fairly close to Kanchenjunga
at 8534m, massive and majestic, awe inspiring,
with a feeling of loftiness and confidence while
flying over the National Park around it. We flew
over Gyalshing which means Kings Garden, as it
was the royal garden of the palace, for this was
the capital of Sikkim till the late 18
Near it we saw the Singshore suspension bridge,
supposed to be the second highest in Asia, built
on the gorge almost 1000ft. deep, with the
Mainbus waterfall from a narrow pass beyond
it, which went beyond, is the gateway to Nepal.
Here we passed over Yuksom, considered as the
first capital of Sikkim, meaning meeting place of
three lamas, consecrated in 1641 AD. We
continued to fly over Shingba Rhododendron
Sanctuary, very famous for a variety of
rhododendrons, bordered by Yumtang Valley of
flowers, known for its alpine meadows and hot
springs. We spotted a herd of yak on a barren
hilltop, the height was said to be above 12,000
ft. The guide explained that the domestic yak
was a versatile animal was a source of milk,
butter, meat, hair for clothes and leather, and
most importantly used as a beast of burden. On
the return trip while over the Kyongnosia Alpine
Sanctuary rich in primulas, poppies and
rhododendrons, etc. adjoining the Tsomgo Lake
we saw the famed Nathula Pass from a distance,
and the landslide which barred us from going to
the place in the morning. After the detailed
expert commentary by the guide, we felt this
trip was far more knowledgeable and revealing
than the land trip to Nathula would have been.
The guide related the unique history of Sikkim,
and its deep association with Buddhism,
showing us a birds eye view of the innumerable
scattered monasteries; besides being a treasure
island for researchers in floral and faunal species.
The enchanting abundance of greenery, and the
fringing snow covered mountains, the valleys
and waterfalls, rivers and lakes, flora and fauna
makes it simply impossible to express the
natural, yet un-spoilt paradise on earth. The aerial
trip made me remember the words of Helen
Keller: The best and most beautiful things in the
world cannot be seen or even touched. They
must be felt with the heart.
We returned from the unexpected aerial trip
because of the landslide, which we were
March 2012 VANA PREMI
fortunate that the 5-seater helicopter had
arrived from Bagdogra because of a favourable
weather that day. After lunch we took our
baggage, and proceeded to the helipad. Our
return trip was arranged by air, rather than travel
down to Siliguri. This journey back to Bagdogra
was just less than half an hour traveling along
the Teestha. Here the Sikkim Tourism vehicle
picked us up, and drove up to Sukna Forest Rest
House, beyond Siliguri. This FRH was my great
desire to visit in Darjeeling Division after 1975
December, when I had camped on the East India
Tour with the probationers, which included late
Mr.Awasthi. The stay at the FRH was nostalgic
after so many years. I remembered the chasing
of the wild elephant which approached the FRH,
and seeing a pair of Hoolock gibbons swinging
away, their voice resounding in the wilderness.
This FRH was now made into a luxury Guest
House for visits and stay of Governor and the CM.
It had been revamped just a month back for
MsMamta Banerjees maiden visit after
becoming the CM. I thought the old rustic FRH
was homely. We walked down to Teestha and the
surrounding sal forests, now gigantic. The next
morning after breakfast we were driven down
to Bagdogra International Airport, from there
departed to Guwahti, back to business on the
Border Dispute.
At Guwahti, I was whisked away from Airport to
Governors Guest house, along with Chairman
Justice Chatterjee, who arrived from Kolkata
little earlier. Three days after being in strict, tight
custody of Security of Assam, as the Member of
Supreme Court Commission, at the end of the
meeting with Assam and Nagaland, a car came
with escort from Shillong, to take us away. The
new road almost completed from Guwahti to
Shillong was very smooth sailing, with the curves
much eased out. We halted for a brief moment
enroute, to freshen ourselves, at now popularly
known Barapani, the biggest artificial lake in
Meghalaya, surrounded by sylvan hills wrapped
in the beauty of the Khasi pine, just 15 km from
We reached Shillong by tea time at Royal
HeritageTripura Castle Guest House for our
stay, tucked away in 9 acres of wooden seclusion.
This place was built by the Maharaja BirBikram,
of Manikya dynasty in 1920, as a symbol of his
romance with the place. This castle reflected the
regality of a royal home, with splendid interiors
and grace of by-gone era, a virtual treasure trove
of artwork and antiques collected over the ages,
paintings and photos of royal family, a blend of
European and Oriental influences. Its Tea lounge
is a connoisseurs delight, and a favourite relaxing
area. It had 10 spacious rooms retaining the old
world heritage character, coupled with modern
amenities. The Maharaja Suite is reserved, has
an ornately carved mahogany bed, which was
used by Rabindranath Tagore during his visit, as
a family friend of the Rajas.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
The city has its own charm, different from other
hill stations, and presents a natural scenic beauty
with waterfalls, brooks, pine grooves and
gardens, in and around it. The place, the people,
and the climate all combine to make Shillong
an ideal resort throughout the year. It offers
amenities for tourists with good hotel
accommodations, facilities for sports, angling,
trekking and hiking. This city has been the seat
of Government since the consolidation of the
British administration in this part of India, more
than a century ago. Now it is the head-quarters
of many central defence and civilian
organizations, and higher education, including
our Burnihat Forest College for ACF, occurring
on both sides of the border of Meghalaya and
Assam. There was nothing worth seeing in
Shillong, except to enjoy the place, as it is a feast
to the eye. The place is rich in minerals, forests,
and unique fauna and flora.
I was particularly interested in visiting
Cherrapunji, 56 km from Shillong, the wettest
place on earth with a rainfall directly influenced
by the south west monsoon and the north east
winds. The place was named as Sohra more
recently, and is a sub-division head-quarter.
Sohra was declared the capital of Assam in 1832
by the British, which was later shifted to Shillong
in 1866, due to the inclement weather.
The heavy monsoon rains over these mountains
creates it as one of the rarest bio-diverse
vegetation in the world. It is dotted with waterfalls
cascading over deep gorges. The swift flowing
rivers and streams flow in a southern direction
to the plains of Bangladesh. The average rainfall
is 12,000 mm a year, with the maximum rainfall
occurring over the southern slopes of the Khasi
Hills in Sohra. The highest recorded total annual
rainfall was 24,555 mm in 1974. The maximum
for a single day was recorded in 1876 when 1,040
mm fell in 24 hours. Sohra also holds the World
Record for a months rainfall when 9,300 mm fell
in July 1861. Despite all this, the point from
which the plains of Bangladesh are visible down
the slope was a sad disappointment. It was
barren, treeless as seen by me earlier in 1975,
with coarse grass, with blades that tear the skin
painful. This is because the tree growth once
removed here, exposed to severe erosion,
exposing the parent material where nothing
would grow. What man has destroyed, man alone
should nurture back with careful assistance.
Nature once destroyed rarely comes back to the
original. That is the Law of ecological succession.
I bid Sohra good bye, and so also to Meghalaya,
the land of clouds, with a deep longing to be
back to natures glory, wishing Nautiyal all the
March 2012 VANA PREMI
It was the desire of my 15 year old grandson,
Siddhant, to see snow-capped hills during his
winter holidays. We finally chose a trip to Tawang
region of Arunachal Pradesh that borders China
with snow-capped passes and hills during this
time of the year. I along with Rita, my wife,
Madhumita, my daughter, and Siddhant
grandson, left Hyderabad on 5
of January 2012.
We celebrated the 15
birth day of Siddhanta at
Guwahati. On 6
we went to Kaziranga and
visited the National Park. Our vehicle, Bolero,
covered two ranges and we could see and snap
the one horned Rhino from close range. Next day
at 5.30 AM we again visited the Park. However,
this time we were taken very close to Rhino
while we were sitting pretty safe on the back of
the Elephant. It was a fantastic experience and
very enjoyable. Visit to Park was over by 6.30
AM. We came back to the rest house, loaded our
luggage and left for Arunachal Pradesh (A.P) as
we were to reach Bomdila, about 180 km away
and located at 8500 feet elevation.
We reached Tezpur, the border district of Assam,
by about 10 AM and collected the inner permit
needed to visit AP. For some distance road was
good. However, as we were approaching to the
B y
border the road was under repair. There were
army men with gun standing all along the road
under repair to give protection against
insurgents to the Border Road Organisation
involved in road work in Assam. We stopped at
Bhalukpong, the border check post, and after
showing the permit moved into AP.
From here the road started climbing. Soon we
encountered landslides which were being
cleared. At places we had to stop till green signal
was given. The clouds had started descending
and the chill could be felt. Siddhant was happy
and started taking snaps of the hills, forests, and
water falls. He was joined by Madhumita and
both were busy to snap each other to create
their album for the face-book. Bolero was moving
at the speed of 25 to 30 km per hour because of
the road condition. We passed several army
camps enroute indicating the heavy
concentration of army. Chinese had come up to
Bomdila in 1962 war when we lost large number
of brave fighters because of our unprepared
ness. However, the roads are still not up to the
mark. May be the terrain is responsible.
We had planned to reach Bomdila by 5 PM but it
was getting late due to poor road condition. The
March 2012 VANA PREMI
mobile was not working as there was no signal
in this hilly terrain and hence could not speak to
Ms Surabhi Rai, Bomdila DFO, who had made all
arrangement for our stay. Soon it was dark and
vehicle speed was further reduced. It was also
becoming cooler by minutes as we were
climbing. We had to put on all our warm clothing.
It was passed 7 PM by the time we reached
Bomdila. The mobile was still not working and
we did not know the location of the forest guest
house. The driver was enquiring and moving but
always to a wrong place. It was about 8 PM by
the time we located the guest house. Forest staff
was waiting to receive us. However, it was totally
dark. We were told the current has gone but it
will come soon. The guest house was about 50
feet above the road. We had to climb the steps
to reach. In the darkness and ice chill weather
even this distance was looking long. We were all
shivering. Siddhant had gone silent. Rita was
having pain in her legs and climbed up with
great difficulty. However, the bed rooms were
provided with room heating stove. It was fed
with wood and kept burning. We four huddled
around the stove and went on nudging the
wooden pieces in to the stove to keep the wood
burning. Soon tea was served and that brought
us back to life. However, there was no sign of
light coming and hence geezers were not
working. A young and good looking lady at the
guest house was busy making arrangement
along with her young husband. She told us that
wood is a scares commodity and even a small
bundle of wood here cost Rs 50. Her monthly
expense on fire wood alone was over Rs. 3000.
That was enough hints for not asking for hot
water. Soon we were served with hot dinner. To
our surprise the sprawling dining room was
freezing cold as there was no heating
arrangement. When we opened the tap and
washed our hands the fingers refused to move.
Although the food was excellent it was the cold
that did not allow the full enjoyment. We
completed our dinner and retired to the bed that
was provided with double quilt. Soon it was
warm and we slept like a log.
The absence of electricity did not permit water
pumping to the rest house in addition to absence
of hot water. Somehow we managed to complete
the cleaning up. We came out of the room and
could see snow present in shady areas. Couple
of days back there was heavy snowfall and road
to Tawang, passing through Sela pass, at about
13800 feet, was blocked. Fortunately, it was a
bright sunny day and the weather looked in our
favour. We resumed our journey by 8 AM with
the hope of reaching Tawang, a distance of about
180 km, by 5 PM. The mobile was not working so
nobody could be contacted. We passed through
Dirang, an army camping area. We stopped to
see a hot water spring. Young boys and girls were
lying in a pool of hot water and enjoying. We took
March 2012 VANA PREMI
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Madhuri fall on way to Tamang
My Grandson, Siddhant
March 2012 VANA PREMI
some snaps. Suns warmth and a good sleep had
once again made all of us active. We had tea in a
small shop but it was tasty. As we approached
Sela pass there was series of hairpin bends
taking the vehicle up slowly. The surrounding
hills were covered with snow. We reached Sela
pass at about 1.00 PM. There was a small shop
on the pass selling tea and famous for Momo.
Siddhant had Momo and we took tea sitting
around the hot stove. The shop was being run by
a lady. She had kept bucket full of snow which
was used for water. Almost every passer-by was
entering the shop where even night shelter was
provided for the stranded passengers.
This pass was the border between Bomdila and
Tawang districts. There was a welcome board to
Tawang. We crossed the pass and entered into a
paradise of snow. Snow was everywhere
including on the road. A big lake on the road side
was frozen. We all got down and got busy in
taking pictures of the surroundings and
ourselves. There was brightness all around with
sun shining. We were enjoying the chill with no
sign of discomfort. After the photo session we
resumed the journey to Tawang. It was passed 2
PM. We had hardly covered a distance of about
5km from the pass when a lorry was found
stranded in the snow. The driver of our vehicle
was driving safely but lost concentration for a
while and landed in a rut formed by heavy
vehicles. Our vehicle was stuck in the snow and
refused to move. The driver struggled for quite
some time and finally gave up with the hope of
some military help coming. Suddenly, the clouds
had covered the sun. The temperature was
coming down. Spending night at this place was
dangerous as night temperature here would be
less than (-) 10 degrees Celsius. My worries were
mounting with the inaction of the driver and
time ticking away. Other vehicles were coming
and going without halting as none was prepared
to stop and take the risk. In the meantime a van
came and it also got stuck. There were number
of young boys in it. We requested them for help
but they were busy with their own vehicle. After
some struggle they succeeded and sped away
leaving us stranded. There was no hope and effect
of weather had already silenced the enthusiasm
of my family members. Finally, I approached a
truck driver coming from the opposite side with
folded hands for help. He was a gentleman and
seeing our plight immediately gave assurance
for help. Initially, trials were made to manoeuvre
the vehicle back and forth but it did not succeed.
Lastly, the truck driver took out a rope and tied it
on our vehicle and pulled it by his lorry. This was
successful and our vehicle was out but the lorry
got stuck in the snow. The lorry driver and his
companions had to work hard with spade and
crowbar for quite some time and finally
succeeded. We thanked the truck driver
profusely and resumed the journey to Tawang.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
We were in the high altitude snow for about
three hours. The temperature was several
degrees below the freezing point. Because of
failure of net-work service, I could not
communicate with the DFO Tawang. We reached
Tawang by about 8 PM. By this time most of the
shops were closed and there were very few
people seen on the roads due to severe cold. We
had no idea about the location of the Forest Guest
House (FRH). We had to get down and enquire at
several places about the location of the guest
house. With some difficulty we reached the FRH
by about 8.30 PM. By that time the temperature
at Tawang was below zero degree. To my surprise,
the FRH was closed with no body to respond to
our knock at the door. As there was no sign board
or indication about the ownership of the
building, we thought that it is not the FRH as we
were sure somebody would be waiting for us at
the rest house. We spend another half an hour to
confirm the location of FRH and were redirected
to the same building. We again knocked at the
door but with no response. Then I searched for
the residence of the DFO and located it.
Unfortunately, the gate was locked and there was
no response to my call from the gate. We were
all shivering in the grip of severe cold. Siddhant
was not feeling well. The driver was suggesting
moving to some hotel. He had several addresses
but I was worried about the officers waiting as
my programme was communicated to all DFOs
by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests,
Arunachal Pradesh. I then stopped one passer
by going in a car and requested to help us after
giving the brief account of our plight. He was a
kind man and ready for help. He showed a
building on the opposite side of the DFOs
residence and said: it is the FRH. I went down
and knocked at the gate. A lady appeared and
when I asked to open the FRH she informed it
was not the FRH. Then a gentleman
came out. After listening to me, he was kind
enough to invite me to his house. He tried to
contact the DFO and FRO Tawang but neither the
land line nor the cell phone was working. He then
asked me to follow his car to take us to FRH.
To our surprise, he came to the same building
where we had already visited twice. Not finding
any body at the front door, he went on the
backside of the building and found two kids. On
enquiry, the kids said that Forest Range Officer
(FRO) Tawang, has told them to bring the office
rcoming to the FRH to his residence. This
gentleman took both the children in his carand
asked us to follow. Finally, we reached the
residence of the FRO but a lady there told that
FRO has gone out. We requested her to phone
up and tell him to come early as we have come
from a long distance and tired. By about 10 PM
we were able to meet the Range Officer. The FRO
thanked the gentleman escorting us and assured
him of our safety. I thanked him from the core of
March 2012 VANA PREMI
my heart as he was God like in that tragic hour.
Later on we came to know, the gentleman who
brought us here was the Deputy Director of
Agriculture at Tawang. The FRO informed that
since the FRH was not suitable for our stay and
he made an alternative arrangement. We finally
reached the NHPC guest house. It was quite
spacious and comfortable for our stay. Since we
were very hungry, I enquired whether it would
be possible to give us dinner. Fortunately, the
guest house had a kitchen and cooks. They
assured for serving the dinner within half an hour.
I was told that DFO had gone to Guwahati. The
FRO left after discussing next days programme
and we settled in two rooms. Soon very hot
dinner was served. The food was delicious and
we all had sumptuous meal. The harrowing time
we spent after crossing Sela pass was a life time
Next day, 9
of January, was sunny and bright.
The good sleep and warm morning sun had
brought back the sagging spirit. We had our
breakfast and remained standing in sun basking
the warmth. China border was about 22 km from
Tawang. There were lakes and falls but all roads
were closed due to heavy snow. We visited
Tawang Monastery where about 700 Lamas live.
It is the second largest Buddhist Monastery after
one in Tibet. We took a snap with a Lama.
Monastery was located on elevated hillock and
gave a bird eye view of Tawang town. Then we
visited a memorial of Unsung Heroes, in
memory of over 2470 Officers, JCOs, and Soldiers
who laid down their lives from 10
October to
October 1962 in Kamang Sector during 1962
war with China. The names of all the war heroes
were written prominently. There was a museum
that gives some glimpses of the important
events concerning the war. There was an army
canteen and we bought a few things as souvenir.
We then went to Tawang market. It was a closed
day for the market but a few shops were open.
Rita and Madhumita bought a few things and
then we returned to the guest house. Weather
was pleasant till the sun was shining. With the
sun dipping towards west it became very cool.
We had early dinner and retired for the night.
On 10
of January we resumed our backward
journey. The day was sunny. We stopped at a fall
named after Madhuri Dixit and took photos.
Before reaching Sela pass we stopped at
Naurang. This place was named Jaswant Garh
with a war memorial dedicated to Jaswant Singh,
Mahavir Chakra awardee (posthumous) of 4
Battalion, Garhwal Rifles. He showed his valour
by fighting and holding the invading Chinese for
72 hours all alone before he was killed. The place
was serene with memories of the brave soldier.
Living and working here shows the hardship
endured by the army men posted in such remote
places with harsh climate but smiling faces. We
talked to some army men and found them in
March 2012 VANA PREMI
high spirit with no complaints about their
posting. We see the civilians in government
service avoiding even a small shift from the
places of their comfort whereas the army men
endure all hardship without remorse. I salute
them. The surrounding area was forested with
pine trees standing, covered with snow. We
passed through the place where we were
stranded but by this time snow had melted
considerably and we crossed Sela Pass without
any difficulty. Due to road work we had to halt at
several places and it became dark. We halted at
Dirang, another strategic location for the army
in 1962 war, for the night. The rest house was
comfortable and cook was available. The geezer
was working. We had a good bath and had hot
dinner. There was a heater in the room that kept
us warm. We slept well.
January was our last day in Arunachal
Pradesh. We were to reach Tippi Forest Rest
House, in Bhalungpong forest division. The
distance to be covered was about 100 km. the
day was sunny and warm. We were feeling
comfortable. We left Dirang by 9AM and stopped
at few places enroute to capture the beauty of
nature and take photographs. The mountain
slopes were full of dense forest. We reached Tippi
at about 3.00 PM. The rest house was located on
the bank of river Kameng, a tributary of
BrahmputraRiver, the life line of Assam. The
sound of flowing water could be heard from the
rest house. Rest house was spacious with
comfortable bed rooms, dining hall, fire place
and a sitting room. There was a cook who served
hot tea followed by tiffin. For the dinner we had
fish, egg, vegetable curry, dal and rice. We also
lighted the fireplace and sat around it till dinner
was served.
In the morning Mr Nilam Nedo, DFO Bhalukpong
came in traditional Arunchal Pradesh dress for a
courtesy call. Previous day two FROs had come
to enquire about our comfort. Tippi rest house
generally remains occupied as it is located close
to the border, 6km from Bhalukpong check post.
Siddhant and Madhumita were again busy in
photography as the rest house was located in
beautiful surroundings with thick forests on
slopes and flowing river. The end of our journey
was beautiful and satisfying. We left Tippi at 9.00
AM and crossed the border by 9.30 and entered
Assam. I am thankful to Arunachal Pradesh forest
department for all the arrangement made for
this memorable trip that we may always
remember and rejoice.
Happiness is inward and not outward; and so it does not
depend on what we have, but on what we are.
(Henry Van Dyke)
March 2012 VANA PREMI
He was by far the most remarkable man who
ever set foot on this earth: he preached a religion,
founded a State, built a Nation, laid down a moral
code, initiated innumerable social and political
reforms, established a dynamic and powerful
society, and completely revolutionised the
human thoughts and actions for all times to
He was born in Arabia on 20-08-570 AD and by
the time he left this mortal world 63 years after,
the whole of Arabian Peninsula had changed
from paganism and idol- worship to the worship
of One God, from tribal quarrels and petty wars
to national solidarity and cohesion, from
drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and
piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to
disciplined-living, from utter moral bankruptcy
to the highest standards of moral excellence!
Human history has never known such a
complete transformation of people or a place
before or after.
The encyclopaedia Britannica calls him the
most successful of all the religious personalities
of the World. Bernard Shaw says that if he were
to be alive today he would succeed in solving all
the problems threatening to destroy the human
civilization. Thomas Carlyle was simply amazed
how one man single-handedly could weld
warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a
Dr. Raghotham Rao Desai
most powerful and civilized nation in less than
two decades. Napoleon and Gandhiji were
never tired of dreaming of a society along the
lines enunciated by this man in Arabia some 14
centuries ago.
Indeed no other human being ever
accomplished so much and in such diverse
fields of human thoughts and behaviours in as
limited space of time as he did. He was at once
a religious teacher, a great preacher and orator,
a social reformer, a moral guide, a political
thinker, a military genius and strategist, an
administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a
wonderful companion, a devoted husband and
a loving father, all rolled into one. No other man
in history ever excelled or equalled him in any
of these difficult departments of life.
The World has had, however, its share of great
personalities, but those were figures who
distinguished themselves in one or two fields
such as religious-thoughts or military-
leaderships. None of them combined so many
different qualities to such an amazing level of
perfection. The lives and teachings of other great
personalities of the World are mostly shrouded
in the mists of times: there is so much
speculation about the times and places of their
births, the modes and styles of their lives, the
natures and details of their teachings, and the
March 2012 VANA PREMI
degrees and measures of their successes or
failures, that it is impossible for humanity today
to reconstruct accurately and precisely the lives
and teachings of those personalities. Not so in
the case of this man: not only was he born in the
fullest blaze of recorded history but every detail
of his private and public life, of his actions and
utterances, have been accurately documented
and faithfully preserved to this day, the
authenticity of which is vouched by not only the
faithful but also unbiased critics and open-
minded scholars.
He not only preached the most wonderful ideas
but also successfully translated each one of them
into practice in his own life-time. At the time of
his demise, his teachings were not mere
precepts and ideas straining for fulfilment, but
had become the very core of the life of tens of
thousands of perfectly-trained individuals, each
one of whom was a marvellous personification
of everything which he taught and stood for. At
what other times or place and in relation to what
other political, social, religious system,
philosophy or ideology did the world ever
witness such an amazing phenomenon? Indeed
no other system or ideology, secular or religious,
social or political, ancient or modern could ever
claim the distinction.
The ideology preached by him was established
as a complete way of life by the teacher himself
before he departed from this mortal world, and
history bears testimony to this fact even while
the harshest sceptics have no options but to
concede this point. Most importantlyand I
state this quite emphaticallyhe did not for a
moment claim to be God or His incarnation or
His son, but only as a human who was chosen
and ordained by God to be a teacher of truth to
mankind and a complete model and pattern for
their actions. This: despite of his amazing
achievements and absolutely-convincing and
authentic/countless miracles (and phenomenal
success) which crowned his efforts. He was
nothing more or less than a human being, but a
man with a noble and exalted mission: a unique
one to unite humanity on the worship of ONE
AND ONLY ONE GOD, by adopting the way of
honest and upright living in accordance with the
laws and commands of God. He always described
himself as a messenger and servant of God and
so indeed was his every single action throughout.
Today, after a lapse of over fourteen centuries,
his teachings survived without slightest
alteration and interpolation, and offer the same
hope for treating mankinds many ills, if not all
ills, which they did when he was alive, and this is
the inescapable conclusion by a critical and
unbiased study of history. The least you can do as
a thinker and sensitive person is to know him
intimately and know him well-enough to be able
to benefit from his guidance and example. It is
time you responded to this tremendous
challenge and made some efforts to know him.
It does not cost you anything: on the other hand
it may well prove to be the beginning of a
completely new era in your life.
You might have correctly guessed his name as
you conclude going through sketch: his name is
Mohammad (pbuh) the Prophet.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
So India lost 367 sq.km, of forests in, 2 years, out
of which 281 sq.km of forest cover was lost in
Andhra Pradesh. As per the latest report, the on-
going naxalite activities in Khammam district of
Andhra Pradesh are squarely blamed for this
state if affairs as 182 sq.km of forest lost in Andhra
Pradesh pertains to Khammam district known
for leftist activities. This report has not only
generated lot of discussion among the
environmentalists, concerned citizens and
officials for further depletion of already
dwindling resources, same time conflicting
opinions are being advocated for this problem.
A few of these are listed below.
1. The main reason for this situation is clearing of
forests by local tribals to prove their claim over
the forest lands so that they can be benefitted
under recently promulgated Scheduled Tribes
and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers
(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Andhra
Pradesh is one of the States implementing this
Act very effectively.
2. There are many areas where the felling of
mature plantations of Teak, Eucalyptus etc. was
also taken up under the approved working plans
resulting into display of clear patches in aerial
3. Illegal felling of forest area under the support
of leftist or other anti-social elements is also one
of the reasons.
Whatsoever the reasons we may cite for the
depletion of forests by the local tribals, a candid
analysis points at only policy and management
of government programmes. In spite of
adequate allocation of funds and legal
safeguards/supports and protection in the form
of reservations and mandatory allocation of
funds, the developmental activities and schemes
are not percolating down to the lowest and
needy individuals for the last 50 years. The lack
of access to developmental activities and
marginalization of poor in distribution of
resources which are the corner stones for a
sustainable and environmental friendly
development , has only compelled the poor
including tribals to exploit the adjacent forests
which is only resources accessible to them and
from which they eke-out their livelihoods.
According to one latest survey under taken up
by Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC),
there is inequality in the efforts made to prevent
people from poverty and get them out of it. The
numerous are inadequate and insufficient.
Of the 29 poverty alleviation programmes
studied in the survey, only nine could prevent
people from falling into the poverty trap.
Thirteen could enable escape from poverty and
16 could alleviate chronic poverty.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Consequently, says ShashankaBhide, a senior
fellow of the National Council of Applied
Economic Research, a significant proportion of
non-poor households may fall into poverty while
a large proportion of poor may not manage to
escape it. The result in the case of forest
dependent tribal communities, more and more
forests is cleared in order to eking out their
livelihoods. The poor remains poor for
generations. So the question arises when we are
not able to improve the conditions of tribals and
aboriginal communities in spite of so many
interventions/ experimentations , is it possible
to conserve the wild -life specially tiger which
is an indicator species of a balanced and perfect
ecosystem and the tribals are one of the integral
parts of this ecosystem ?
When discussing the status of Wildlife
particularly the number of Tigers in the Country,
tremendous concern for this matter has been
shown not only by the media, officials and
environmentalists but also by the general
public, though the currents census of tigers has
indicated an improved population of 1706
against the 1411 in 2007.
However in case of any incidence of death of a
tiger and a leopard to that matter there is
genuine response from all sections of the society
which is appreciable but the hard fact remains
that such concern and response fizzle out very
fast. Very quickly we forget these issues be it
forests or tigers or pollution.
Rapid urbanisation, multifarious demands of
population that is increasing at exponential rate
and industrialisation has to follow the rapid and
fast mode of development. This developmental
process demands exploitation of resources at a
rate which is unusually fast. Forests resources of
the world had already been easy target of this
process. Moreover Forests never had been an
important agenda at political parlance.
Supposing if all trees would have a voting
power then the scene would have been entirely
different .The on-going programmes and
schemes of the Government aiming at
improving the forest cover of the country are
not at all sufficient to counter the total impact
and pressure of all on-going developmental
activities including pressure on existing land/
forests for various purposes. Apart from
providing a higher budgetary allocation there is
need to inculcate a sense and positive approach
towards environmental conservation among our
policy makers and programme implementing
agencies at various levels including forest
departments. Otherwise we will be always
fighting the battle of survival of forests and
tribals at one forum and the dwindling number
of tigers at other forum in isolation while the
solution is very simple. Conserve and improve
the forest resources, it will provide more
livelihood opportunities for tribals; such a system
will be always conducive for the growth of the
tigers, a species indicating the health of a
balanced and ideal environment.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in
this article are exclusively mine and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of
any agency/government.)
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Birthday Greetings
S.No. Name of the member D.O.B.
Sarva Sri
1. C.Laxma Reddy 09-03-1934
2. S.Ashiah 15-3-1949
3. D.V.Jayaram Prasad 15-03-1942
4. S.M.Rasheedullah 15-03-1939
5. M.SitaramaRao 19-03-1933
6. K.MuralidharRao 01-04-1946
7. B.Rangiah 05-04-1946
S.No. Name of the I.F.S. Oficer D.O.B.
Sarva Sri
1. B.Shafiullah 13-03-1976
2. Smt.ShivaniDogra 17-03-1980
3. K.D.R.Jayakumar 19-03-1955
4. Vinay Kumar 26-03-1968
5. P.V.Padmanabham 02-04-1952
S.No. Name of the S.F.S. Oficer D.O.B.
Sarva Sri
1. K.Bal Reddy 10-03-1956
2. P.SrinivasaRao 10-03-1966
3. B.Chandrasekhar 13-03-1962
4. I.Janardhan 23-3-1954
5. Y.JojiBabu 28-3-1955
6. B.Venkataramana 31-3-1960
7. Y.Ramaiah 01-04-1962
8. V.SrinivasaRao 01-04-1965
9. Ch.PrakasaRao 02-04-1963
10. Y.Srinivasa Reddy 03-04-1971
11. G.Hari Kumar 05-0-1958
General Body Meeting of our Association will
be held on Sunday 11
March 2012, 11-30 a m,
at KBR National Park. All the members are
requested to attend the meeting with their
spouses. Members are also requested to confirm
their presence or otherwise three days before the
meeting to avoid the wastage of food.
- Secretary
We wish the following born on the dates mentioned
A very Happy Birth Day
March 2012 VANA PREMI
It used to be one of Indias biggest tourist
attractions, and among the worlds ten largest
waterfalls, But today, the Jog Falls has been
reduced to a trickle because of man-made
changes to the environment
It should be called Joke Falls, not Jog Falls, says
a disgusted Yoav Masiach. The 31-year-old Israeli
tourist had visited Indias largest waterfall in the
Western Ghats around the same time in the mid-
90s and was enthralled by the four waterfalls -
Raja, Roarer, Rocket and Lady. This year, he brought
his 22-year-old girlfriend Dianne Solares all the
way from Goa on a motorcycle, but they were
shocked to see what had become of one of the
top ten falls in the world.
Locals like Siddhaiah Gowda, 42, who runs a stall
nearby, also rue this drying up of the waterfall so
early in the year. We would get hundreds of
tourists every day, throughout the year. But as
word of the falls reducing to a trickle spreads,
hardly anyone wants to come here.
So why does the River Sharavati not plunge down
830 feet with as much force anymore, I asked
Prabhakar Bhat from the Centre for Ecological
Studies of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Its because climate change is wreaking havoc
on the ecologically fragile Sharavati valley, he
Bhat is part of a central government team
studying the nature of the forests in the Malenaad
(literally, the rain region). They found that that
the tropical rain forest is rapidly changing
Changing rain patterns and systematic
degradation of what are the countrys richest
forests are becoming evident, and the dwindling
of tourists is just one small sign of this, says Bhat.
Add to that the development of six dams -
Linganmakki, Supa, Bamanhalli, Kanthalla,
Korsalli, and Kadra - which led to submergence
of lush forests, and you begin to understand why
the once famous Jog Falls has lost its splendour.
Wildlife, plants endangered Dhangar (shepherd)
Jeevantrao Devatkar from Baramati grazes sheep
along the river bed kokum and plans like amla
are disappearing too.
Communities in the region have traditionally
depended on these and honey, bamboo shoots,
wild fruits, berries, and mushrooms. But these
are increasingly hard to come by, he points out,
as we settle down to a meal of tender bamboo-
shoot curry and rice under the open sky in an
adaketota (betel nut grove). The next 15 years
will be crucial. The way we manage our resources
will decide whether or not the coming
generations will get to see this.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
It is two in the afternoon, but the mist hangs low
in the forest, giving it a surreal effect. As we drive
through what is still a relatively verdant terrain,
we hear the calls of a lion-tailed macaque. This
region is one of the last known habitats of this
endangered species. I keep my eyes open and
the camera handy, but only a peacock dashes
past. When we stop for tea at Kuntsi village in
Shivamoga district, the sarpanch Sridhara Rao
brings to our attention another effect of
He takes us to the natural tank that was a
perennial source of water for the village until
about 15 years ago. Like every village in
Malenaad, we depended on this water to keep
our wells recharged. But now, with the forests
getting destroyed, the rains wash away the top
soil, depositing it in these tanks and reducing
their water-bearing capacity.
Locals feel the effects Our next stop is the tehsil-
town of Sagar, where a local journalist takes us
to meet the ailing veteran Kannada litterateur
Na Dsouza. His eyes fire up when we bring up a
subject close to his heart: destruction of the
forests. I have brought it up in my writings since
this has impacted lives in Malenaad region in
more ways than can be documented, he says.
DSouza recounts the first wave of destruction
and displacement that began with the
Linganmakki dam in the 1960s. One time, when
cattle that had been untied for grazing did not
come back in the evening, search parties went
out with flaming torches, only to find all the cattle
waiting at the old village from where the people
had been forced to move out. It still brings a lump
to my throat when I think about it. If animals feel
so attached, imagine what human beings whove
lived in a place for generations feel when
Bhat says the forests are dwindling in the absence
of adequate regeneration. Conservation policies
will have to be planned with community
participation. The community should be made a
part of both conservation and sharing of benefits
from tourism. Without this, we will perhaps be
left without even the Joke Falls. (Contributed
by Sri K.Buchiram Reddy with thanks)
People who are unable to motivate themselves must be
content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their
other talents. (Andrew Carnegia)
March 2012 VANA PREMI
(Taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-
Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no
little children of their own. They like other people.
A grandfather is a man, & a grandmother is a lady!
Grandparents dont have to do anything except
be there when we come to see them. They are so
old they shouldnt play hard or run. It is good if
they drive us to the shops and give us money.
When they take us for walks, they slow down past
things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.
They show us and talk to us about the colors of
the flowers and also why we shouldnt step on
They dont say, Hurry up.
Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to tie
your shoes.
They wear glasses and funny underwear.
They can take their teeth and gums out.
Grandparents dont have to be smart.
They have to answer questions like Why isnt God
married? and How come dogs chase cats?
When they read to us, they dont skip. They dont
mind if we ask for the same story over again.
Everybody should try to have a grandmother,
especially if you dont have television because they
are the only grownups who like to spend time with
They know we should have snack time before bed
time, and they say prayers with us and kiss us even
when weve acted badly.
(Contributed by Sri C. Subba Rao with thanks)
IGNFA, Dehradun is organizing a re-union of the forest officers who have completed 50 years
since the year of joining at IFC, Dehradun. The 1962-64 batch reunion along with the workshop
is scheduled for 8-9 May 2012. Any-one in the batch of 1962-64 is requested to contact Dr Mohit
Gera (IFS) who has been entrusted to organize this memorable get-together of veteran Forest
Officers. His contact details are: Dr Mohit Gera, IFS, Additional Professor, Indira Gandhi National
Forest Academy Dehradun-248006, Uttarakhand, Tel: 0135-27751835 (Off ) Tel: 0135-2775807
(Home) Fax: 0135-275314. e-mail:mohitgera87@gmail.com
I hope this message will be read/communicated to the Batch mates (1962-64)
March 2012 VANA PREMI
In the 1400s a law was set forth in England that a
man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no
thicker than his thumb. Hence we have the rule
of thumb
Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was
invented. It was ruled Gentlemen Only....Ladies
Forbidden... and thus, the word GOLF entered
into the English language.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
The first novel ever written on a type writer is,
Tom Sawyer.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a
great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has
both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.
If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person
died because of wounds received in battle.
If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the
person died of natural causes
Q... If you were to spell out numbers, how far
would you have to go until you would find the
letter A?
A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes,
windshield wipers and laser printers have in
A. All were invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesnt spoil?
A. Honey
In Shakespeares time, mattresses were secured
on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress
tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on.
Hence the phrase... Good night, sleep tight
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000
years ago that for a month after the wedding,
the brides father would supply his son-in-law
with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey
beer and because their calendar was lunar
based, this period was called the honey month,
which we know today as the honeymoon.
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and
So in old England, when customers got unruly,
the bartender would yell at them Mind your
pints and quarts, and settle down. Its where we
get the phrase: mind your Ps and Qs
Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had
a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their
ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they
March 2012 VANA PREMI
used the whistle to get some service. Wet your
whistle is the phrase inspired by this practice.
Most lipstick contains fish scales
The sentence the quick brown fox jumps over
the lazy dog uses every letter in the English
Did you know Sailor, Dead Leaf, Paper Kite, Blue
Striped Crow, Julia and Great Egg Fly are all
The rhino is a primitive-looking animal. They
have looked the same for thousands of years.
There are two species of rhino: the white (or
square-lipped rhino) and the black (or hooked-
lipped rhino). The black rhino has three toes on
each foot. Both the black and white rhino have
two horns.
The rhinoceross horn is made of the same stuff
found in our hair and fingernails which is called
keratin. It also contains something called
There are over 900 different types of bats and
they can all fly. The Vampire bat has fewer teeth
than the other bats because it doesnt chew its
food. It lives on the blood of mammals. Bats do
not need to see when they fly; they use sound to
help them figure out where they are going. Bats
always turn left when exiting a cave.
Did you know there are two kinds of pandas?
There is the Long-tailed Himalayan carnivore
that looks like a raccoon and there is the Giant
panda bear that lives in Western China.
The Blue Whales whistle is the loudest noise
made by an animal.
Did you know there are two kinds of camels?
One is the Arabian that lives in Western Asia and
Northern Africa. It has one hump. And the second
kind is called Bactrian which has two humps and
lives in Mongolia and Chinese Turkistan.
There are two kinds of elephants: the African that
is taller and has larger ears and the Indian that is
small and has smaller ears.
The fastest human swimmer can swim at 6 miles
per hour. The fastest mammal the dolphin
can swim up to 35 miles per hour.
The smallest bird in the world is the
Hummingbird. It weighs 1oz.
Did you know fishes talk to each other? Some of
them communicate by making noises in their
throats by rasping their teeth; others use their
swim bladders to make sounds.
The bird that can fly the fastest is called a White.
It can fly up to 95 miles per hour.
The brain of an average adult male weighs 1,375
gm (55 oz). The brain of Russian novelist Turgenev
weighed 2021 gm (81 oz), Bismarks weighed
1807 gm (72 oz), while that of French statesman
Gambetta was only 1294 gm (51 oz). Einsteins
brain was of average size.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
The king of hearts is the only king without a
moustache. Mosquito repellents dont repel.
They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquitos
sensors so they dont know youre there. Apples,
not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you
up in the morning.
The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are
called aglets.
Barbies full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929;7"
was selected because the original containers
were 7 ounces. UP indicated the direction of
the bubbles.
No piece of paper can be folded in half more
than 7 times.
1 in every 4 Americans has appeared on
Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are
fifty years of age or older.
A Boeing 747s wingspan is longer than the
Wright brothers first flight.
The albatross drinks sea water. It has a special
desalinization apparatus that strains out and
excretes all excess salt.
A dragonfly flaps its wings 20 to 40 times a
second, bees and houseflies 200 times, some
mosquitoes 600 times, and a tiny gnat 1,000
The first product to have a bar code was Wrigleys
A ducks quack doesnt echo, and no one knows
The United States has never lost a war in which
mules were used.
Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially
for Ronald Reagan.
All porcupines float in water.
Cats urine glows under a black light.
A group of unicorns is called a blessing.
Twelve or more cows are known as a flink.
A group of frogs is called an army.
A group of rhinos is called a crash.
A group of kangaroos is called a mob
A group of whales is called a pod.
A group of ravens is called a murder.
A group of officers is called a mess.
A group of larks is called exaltation.
A group of owls is called a parliament.
Margaret Higgins Sanger, the birth-control
pioneer, was one of eleven children.
There are more than 15,000 different varieties
of rice.
Your stomach has to produce a new layer of
mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself.
To extend your life by a year take one less bite each meal.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
There can be no dispute that Urdu is an easy and
sweet language. But many people are under the
wrong impression that it is the language of a
particular religion or community. Sometimes,
because of this ignorance, Urdu is dragged into
vote-bank politics. This causes great damage to the
language. The fact is, Urdu was born in India and
after the immigration of people from foreign lands,
and it became the official language of the Mughal
court. A large number of Urdu words are still used
at our police stations and courts. Urdu words like
abodana, zila, daftar and haqeeqat have been
assimilated as everyday words into various Indian
With the advent of British rule, however, Urdu lost
its status as official language. This hindered the
spread and development of the language. The flow,
sweetness and interplay of ideas, so characteristic
of Urdu literature, now remain confined to a smaller
number of people. One reason for this is the decline
in the use of Urdu in official work. Another reason
is that it has been erroneously identified with a
particular community. Many big newspapers in
Urdu were brought out by Hindus rather than
Muslims. Prominent Urdu writers include
Premchand, Kishan Chander, Firaq, Mulla and Gulzar.
Similarly, Hindi has had Jayasi, Khusro and Abdur-
Rahim Khankhana. Urdu has a vast body of
literature that is delectable as well as philosophical.
Such writers as Manto also raised issues that
concern the common man.
What Urdu is lacking is material on modern
knowledge science, information technology and
engineering. The institutes that have been teaching
Murli Manohar Joshi
Urdu have hardly paid attention to the teaching of
these subjects. As Urdu education gradually lost
its employment potential, the number of students
learning the language also declined. One hindrance
to the development of Urdu is the script. When I
was human resource development minister in the
Vajpayee government, and by virtue of that the
chairman of the Urdu Council, I had many of the
great works of Urdu literature transliterated into
Devanagari. The results were visibly positive.
Moreover, many centres of computer education in
Urdu were opened across the country. As part of
the drive to modernize madrassas, a scheme to
provide them with science and mathematics
teachers by the government was also launched.
Regrettably, instead of treating languages as forces
that bind people and adopting a creative cultural
attitude, we have been pushing them into the
morass of divisive politics. A healthy attitude
towards Urdu is the need of the hour. The language
needs to be rescued from the manipulations of
politics and nurtured as a repository of culture,
literature and science.
The radiance of Urdu should be used to enhance
the beauty of Indias multi coloured linguistic
horizon. It should not become a victim of narrow-
mindedness and be made to suffer alienation. With
this in mind, as HRD minister, I had organized an
exhibition of Urdu books. It is good to know that
the National Council for Promotion of Urdu
Language has organized an Urdu book fair in
Mumbai. Such fairs should also be organized in
cities like Delhi and Lucknow.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Forest personnel, particularly those in charge of
protection of forests, face numerous problems
day- in and day-out. He is expected to deliver
maximum output with minimum resources at
his command. Detecting offences and
apprehending the offender red handed is a
challenging task. Many of the cases are caught
during the unauthorized transport of forest
Forest Guard is considered a minion in the
hierarchy of the Forest Department. But he has
onerous duties to perform. He is expected to be
agile and alert, during the day and night, to get
the information on occurrence of offence.
Prevention of offence is another duty cast on him.
Sri C. Jacob, Forest Beat Officer in Achampet
C. Jacob, Forest Beat Officer, Achampet division.
The Association of Retired Forest Officers, Andhra Pradesh, Congratulates the following Forest Officers,
who are retiring from on attaining the age of Superannuation on the dates mentioned against their
names and cordially invites them to join the Association of Retired Forest Officers to keep in touch with
their old colleagues and to keep themselves
Name of the Officer Date of Retirement
1.Sri.I.Janardhan 31-03-2012
For Further details they may contact the following Office bearers:-
1Sri K.Santokh Singh , Secretary 9848808101
2. P.Upender Reddy, Joint Secretary 9848754778
A. Crossed Cheque for Rs.2000/- may be drawn in favour of The Association of Retired Forest Officers-
A.P. towards Life membership of Association may be sent to P.Upender Reddy, Qtr. No. 2/B, P.S.Nagar,
Vijay Nagar Colony, Hyd.-500 057. B.Crossed cheque for Rs.2000/= may be drawn in favour of The
Editor,VanaPremi towards Life Subscription of VanaPremi may be sent to Sri Qamar Mohammad Khan,
Room No. 514, ARANYA BHAVAN, O/O Principal Chief Conservator of Forests - A.P., Saifabad, Hyd.-500
division of Mahbubnagar district, received
credible information on 10.02.2006 about
smuggling of teak timber in a van. He managed
to secure a jeep with staff for helping him. They
set out to chase the van. They almost succeeded
in reaching the van. As the jeep driver was
overtaking the van, the van driver hit the jeep
from the side, as a result the jeep fell in a ditch
and Jacob met with instant death.
Jacob was a subordinate of Forest Department,
highly conscious of his duties. He had to his
credit detection of many cases. He died in
harness and reached martyrdom. The survivors
received all the benefits which are due to the
late Jacob. May his soul rest in peace!
March 2012 VANA PREMI
1. Young mother defends rock climbing with
toddler:- Clearly aware of the risks involved in
rock-climbing, Menna Pritchard has taken the
precaution of kitting herself out with a safety
helmet. However, not only has she decided to
scale the cliff with her two-year-old daughter
Ffion strapped to her back but she has also left
the toddlers head unprotected. Clinging on as
her mother smiles for a picture 30ft up, Ffion is
exposed to serious injury should rocks fall from
above or her mother lose her footing. She said:
The sue-and-blame culture means so many
people are nervous, so afraid of getting into
trouble, and taking small risks.
A British Mountaineering Council guide warns
parents to be aware that climbing, hill walking
and mountaineering are activities with a danger
of personal injury or death.
(For photo please see last cover page )
2.Fishermen on the Arabian Sea Reel in 40ft.
long shark:-Try telling someone you caught this
40ft fish thats as big as a whale - because theyre
unlikely to believe you. The giant whaleshark
being reeled in and brought to port, in
Karachi.Crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of
the beast - believed to be one of the biggest
ever caught - as it was hauled out of the water at
Charai Fishery.
Two cranes were brought in to pull the eight-
ton sharks carcass out. But that failed, so
eventually another crane was brought in to
complete the task.The largest confirmed whale
shark was 41ft long but it is thought they can
grow to considerably greater lengths. The shark
is found in tropical waters and lives for around
70 years. They feed mainly on
(For photo please see last cover page )
3. 145 Water-Skier Set a New World Record: -
Dozens of 145 have set a new world record after
145 people were pulled behind a single boat.
Some 154 skiers from around the world gathered
in Macquarie Harbour in Strahan on the west
coast of Tasmania for the record attempt. The
skiers needed to stay upright for a full nautical
mile (1.85 kilometer) in order to qualify for the
record books. But even though nine unlucky
participants were unable to last the distance,
the 145 who did manage to remain on their skis
easily beat the previous record of 114. The record
is expected to be confirmed by Guinness World
Records officials, who witnessed the event, in the
coming weeks.plankton, microscopic plants and
sometimes small fish.
(For photo please see last cover page )
4. Volcanic Eruptions:-A volcano is an opening,
or rupture, in a planets surface or crust, which
allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to
escape from below the surface. Volcanoes are
generally found where tectonic plates are
diverging or converging.
During a volcanic eruption, lava, tephra (ash,
lapilli, volcanic bombs and blocks), and various
gases are expelled from a volcanic vent or
fissure. Several types of volcanic eruptions have
March 2012 VANA PREMI
been distinguished by volcanologists.
5. Macaw Parrots: - Macaws are small to large,
often colourful New World parrots. Of the many
different Psittacidae (true parrots) genera, six are
classified as macaws. Macaws are native to
Mexico, Central America, South America, and
formerly the Caribbean. Most species are
associated with forest, especially rainforest, but
others prefer woodland or savannah-like
habitats.Some of the macaw species are known
for their impressive size. The largest parrot in
length and wingspan is the Hyacinth Macaw. The
heaviest macaw is the Buffons, although the
heaviest parrot is the flightless Kakapo. There
are 18 species of Macaws, including extinct and
critically endangered species. In addition, there
are several hypothetical extinct species that
have been proposed based on very little
evidence. (For photos see last cover page )
6. Worlds most Crooked street:-In the U.S. city
of San Franciscos Russian Hill is located one the
most crooked streets in the world. Lombard
Street - the name of this famous street, which
has a 27% slope, and the speed on it is limited to
8 kilometers per hour. (For photo please see last
cover page )
7. Corruption Perceptions Index : -Since 1995,
Transparency International ( TI) publishes the
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) annually
ranking countries by their perceived levels of
corruption, as determined by expert
assessments and opinion surveys. The CPI
generally defines corruption as the misuse of
public power for private benefit.
As of 2011, the CPI ranks 178 countries on a scale
from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt).
The top 10 least corrupted countries in the
world are:
New Zealand (9.5)
Denmark (9.4)
Finland (9.4)
Sweden (9.3)
Singapore (9.2)
Norway (9.0)
Netherlands (8.9)
Australia (8.8)
Switzerland (8.8)
Canada (8.7)
India stands at #95 with 3.1 rating.
8. Kochi experiments with novel ideas to
treat waste :- KOCHI: With waste treatment
becoming a major concern for Kochiites, various
citizens groups have come forward with
alternative ideas for waste management. While
the local bodies and the district administration
are yet to solve the issue, efforts from trusts and
individuals show that the citizens are more
aware and concerned than the authorities.
Realizing the importance of waste management,
Yasoram Charitable Trust has introduced a
project to treat organic waste and promote
organic farming in the city. The project that has
been planned with the help of residential
associations will be implemented in 50,000
houses. To implement the project, all one has to
do is to plant a few vegetable saplings at a
distance of one metre between each crop. The
March 2012 VANA PREMI
waste management system that can be easily
installed in any household can treat organic
waste including waste paper and food waste and
cost only Rs 550 per house. A R S Vadhyar,
managing trustee of Yasoram Trust, said the
objective was to popularize the practice of
organic waste utilization and organic vegetable
cultivation among Kochiites.
We have already submitted the project
proposal to the mayor and expect to launch it
by next month, said Vadhyar. Better Kochi
Response Group (BKRG) has also come up with
Zero Waste, an initiative to dispose of bio-
degradable waste at its source. The project
involves setting up a bio-fertilizer or biogas unit
in every household that will make waste
management hassle-free. S K Nair, project
convenor of Zero Waste, said the units were
based on simple technology and could easily
process waste generated in a household.
The treatment plant that can handle up to 1.5 kg
of kitchen waste a day can be easily installed in
an area of 2 sq ft. For a four-member family, the
implementation cost will come to Rs 1,800.
Meanwhile, many projects that were
enthusiastically started by residents associations
in the city have stopped functioning. One such
project that came to a standstill was the one
started by the Panampilly Nagar Welfare
Association. ShirlyChacko, former president of
the association, said they were in the process of
reviving the waste treatment plant.
9. The Worlds largest Emerald: -The worlds
largest cut emerald is set to go up for auction -
and is expected to fetch $1.15million. The
57,500-carat stone, which is the size of a
watermelon. The gem, named Teodora, was found
in Brazil and cut in India, before being sold to
rare gems dealer Reagan Reaney in Calgary - but
there are doubts over whether it is in fact a true
Emeralds - the birthstone for the month of May -
get their green colouring from the presence of
chromium within the stone and the effect it has
on constituent mineral beryl. Unlike diamonds
they are graded by eye. If when examined by
the naked eye an emerald appears free from
material trapped while it was being formed
then it can be considered flawless.
Emerald crystals, like all other naturally occurring
gemstone crystals, grow one molecule at a time
meaning it takes prolonged periods to create a
quality gemstone.
10. Britains fattest woman : Brenda
Flanagan-Davies: - Britains new fattest woman
- who weighs 40 stone and is so big that she has
not left her house in four years. Brenda Flanagan-
Davies, 43, has never once sat in her taxpayer-
funded living room because it takes too much
effort for her to walk there from bed. Once as
heavy as 45 stone, Brenda is now the heaviest
women in the UK following the death of 45-
stone Sharon Mevsimlerin 2010.
The former shop assistant, from Gateshead, Tyne
and Wear, eats more than 6,000 calories per day
- including nine chocolate bars and three litres
of fizzy drinks. The recommended daily calorie
intake for women is 2,000. Years of being
confined to her tiny bungalow, Brenda is begging
for help after doctors warned her lose weight or
die. (For photo please see last cover page )
11. Tight rope walk across Niagara Falls:-It
March 2012 VANA PREMI
may not have been the most appropriate choice
of phrase. But when Nik Wallenda was told he
was to be allowed to attempt a tightrope walk
across Niagara Falls, he said: Im thrilled to death.
If the 33-year-old daredevil survives his 1,800ft-
long walk on a two-inch thick rope over the
famous site, he will become the first to ever
achieve the feat. The stunt will take up to 40
minutes through mist and spray, 220ft above the
bottom of the gorge.
Mr Wallenda, who lives with his wife Erendira and
their three children, has been tightrope-walking
since he was two. In 2008 he walked and then
cycled across a high-wire suspended from
skyscrapers in Newark, New Jersey. The feat won
him a place in the Guinness Book Of Records for
the longest and highest bicycle ride on a high-
wire. He currently holds six Guinness World
12. underground Town in South Australia:-
Coober Pedy is a small Australian town with
population of about 2,000 people. It is well-
known as an underground town. Coober Pedy is
also known as the worlds opal capital with 30%
global opals mined here. As for the town name,
it is translated as whitemans hole from the
Aboriginal term kupa-piti.The severe desert
climate made a lot of residents move to live
underground, in caves.
A cave home usually has three bedrooms,
kitchen, bathroom and lounge that are excavated
out of the rock in the hillsides. Such homes dont
require air-conditioning, because they remain
at a constant temperature while summer
temperatures on the surface can reach 40-50
degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
Coober Pedy attracts tourists from all over the
The mines, underground churches and graveyard
are the most interesting attractions here. The
trees you can find in this town are iron welded.
You can play golf at night only to avoid hot
temperatures. The local golf is free of grass that
is why players take a small piece of tee-off turf
with them.
Coober Pedy is featured in many movies,
including Opal Dream, Mad Max Beyond
Thunderdome, Red Planet and Priscilla, Queen
of the Desert. NASA is planning to train
astronauts for a planned mission to Mars here in
13. Kerela plans to train Monkeys :- Kerela
plans to train Monkeys to pick coconuts Driven
by crunching shortage of people to pluck
coconuts, two agriculture officers have
proposed using monkeys for the task. The
simians are used to pluck coconuts in Thailand,
Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Agriculture deputy
director K.R. Vijaykumar and principal agriculture
officer V.K.Raju say that the government will have
to establish a training school for monkeys with
the help of faculty from Sumatra and Thailand. A
group of monkeys will be trained to pluck
coconuts. Monkeys can be trained to distinguish
the ripe ones form the unripe, how to retrieve
from the ground and load them on the truck.
(Contributed by Sri S.D. Mukherji)
March 2012 VANA PREMI
Prl.Chief Conservator of Forests, vs J.K.
Johnson & others
The significant and important question raised in
this case is: Whether a specified officer
empowered under Sec. 54 (1) of the Wildlife
Protection Act 1972 as amended by the Wildlife
Protection Amendment Act 2002 (Act 16 of
2003) to compound offences has power,
competence and authority, on payment of a sum
of money by way of composition if the offence
by a person who is suspected to have committed
offence against the Act, to order forfeiture of the
seized property.
On the intervening night between July 24/25,
2004, the Sub-Inspector of Police of Kulcharam
Police Station checked a jeep bearing No. A.P.-
12 D 703. It was found that the jeep was carrying
one hunted wild boar and three rabbits. At 03.30
a.m. the jeep, a battery, a torch light, dead animals
and two rifles of foreign make fitted with
telescope, were seized under a panchanama.
Three persons who were travelling in the jeep
were arrested. An offence was registered under
Sec. 9 of Wildlife Protection Act. The Divisional
Forest Officer, Medak was also informed.
On July 25, 2004 the Divisional Forest Officer,
Medak recorded the statements of the accused
persons. The accused, while expressing
ignorance of law, were willing to compound the
offence. On August 10, 2004 the Conservator of
Forests, Nizamabadon the report of the
Divisional Forest Officer, Medak ordered that the
offence be compounded for Rs 30,000/- under
Sec. 54 of the Act and the vehicle and the
weapons used in committing the offence be
The first accused J.K. Johnson challenged the
order of the Conservator of Forests before the
Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests. The Prl. CCF
stated on October 8, 2004 that he has no
jurisdiction to entertain an appeal, yet he
advised the CF to reduce the composition
amount to Rs. 25,000/- The CF Nizamabad
passed order on November 4, 2004 to compound
the offence for Rs. 25,000/- He ordered further
that the seized property Viz. Vehicle and two rifles
shall stand forfeited; failing to pay the C-fees the
accused will be prosecuted.
The accused challenged the three orders
directing forfeiture of seized property in a writ
petition before the High Court of Andhra
Pradesh. The High Court on March 29, 2005 set
aside the order of forfeiture of vehicle and the
rifles. Writ Appeal No. 1035 of 2006 against the
order of Single Judge was dismissed. There-upon
the Prl.CCF and the CF Nizamabad approached
Supreme Court in an appeal by special leave.
The case in Civil Appeal No. 2534 of 2011 came
up before a Bench comprising R.M. Lodha and
J.S. Khehar, JJ. Senior Counsel R. Sundarvardhan
March 2012 VANA PREMI
and Jayant Kumar Mehta appeared on behalf of
the Appellants and Respondents respectively.
It is argued by the senior counsel for the
appellants that in view of the amendment to
Sec. 54 (2), seized property cannot be returned
and therefore the compounding officer can
order forfeiture. It is also argued that in the light
of Sec. 39 (1) (d), whether the case is
compounded or not, property used in
committing an offence and seized shall be
property of Government. It is submitted that the
compounding under Sec. 54 does not fall within
the circumstances mentioned in Sec. 320 of the
While referring to the Statement of Objects and
Reasons of Act 16 of 2003, MrSundervardhan
submitted that it leaves no manner of doubt that
one of the objects sought to be achieved by the
amendment was to provide the vehicles, vessels,
weapons etc. used in compoundable offences
are not returned to the offenders. It is further
submitted that the legislative intent and policy
must be given due regard. In support of his
argument the following case-law is cited:
(1). Sew PujanraiIndrasanrai Ltd. vs. Collector of
Customs &Ors. (A.I.R. 1958 S.C. 845) to focus
distinction on offender, offence and confiscation.
(2). Biswahan Das vs. Gopen Chandra
Hazarika&Ors. (A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 895)
The Senior Counsel further submitted that
quashing the order of forfeiture of seized articles
is contrary to the provisions of the Wildlife
Protection Act as amended by Act 16 of 2003.
The Counsel for Respondents while agreeing
with the judgment of the High Court of A.P.
submitted that Sec. 54 of the Act did not
expressly empower the specified officer to
order forfeiture of the property while
compounding the offence. It is argued that
Statement of Objects and Reasons cannot be
acted upon unless explicit provision for
forfeiture of property is made in the Act.
Disagreeing with the argument of learned
counsel for appellants it is submitted that
regardless of composition of offence, the
property seized from the accused stands
forfeited under Sec. 39 would result in anomaly
and lead to unguided, arbitrary or
unconstitutional power in the hands of
empowered officer. In support of his argument,
Mr J.K. Mehta referred to Sections 50 (4), 51 (2)
and 53 of the Act and said that, if interpretation
of the Counsel for appellants is accepted, the
aforesaid Sections become superfluous. It was
argued that in cases of Casus Omissus, the court
should not supply any words which are missing
in the enactment. Reliance is placed on State of
M.P. Vs. Madhukar Rao (2008-14-SCC 624). The
counsel also quoted case-law extensively.
Their Lordships examined among others the
provisions of Sec. 50 (Power to search, arrest etc),
Sec. 51 (Penalties), Sec. 54 (Power to compound)
before and after amendment and clause (XVI) of
the Objects and Reasons and concluded that the
statutory provisions did not provide
Departmental Authorities to forfeit seized
March 2012 VANA PREMI
property. Referring to Sec. 39 (1) (d) of the Act
the court made a liberal interpretation and said,
.. the kind of absolute vesting of the seized
property in the State Government on mere
suspicion of an offence committed against the
Act could not have been intended by the
Parliament..every enactment in the
country must be in conformity with our
Constitution. In this view it is not sufficient nor
did the lawmakers intend, to make it to deprive
a person of the property seized under the Act
on accusation that such property has been used
for committing an offence. For Sec. 39 (1) (d) to
come into play there has to be a categorical
finding by the competent court of law about use
of seized items such as vehicle, weapons etc. The
Court dealt with the implication of forfeiture
where the forfeiture is intended to be a penalty
or punishment for a crime.
In the instant case Their Lordships ruled that the
offence under the Act has to be legally
ascertained and adjudicated by a competent
court of jurisdiction. In Madhukar Raos case the
Full Bench (High Court of M.P.) also held that mere
seizure of any property including vehicle on the
charge of commission of offence would not
make the property to be of the State
Government under Sec. 39 (1) (d). On appeal to
the Supreme Court by the State of M.P., the
judgment of the High Court was affirmed and it
was ruled that Sec. 39 (1) (d) would come into
play only after court of competent jurisdiction
found that accusation and allegation made
against the accused were true and recorded the
finding that the seized article was, as a matter of
fact, used in the commission of offence. The
Supreme Court held, Any attempt to
operationalize Sec.39 (1) (d) of the Act merely
on the basis of seizure and accusation /
allegations levelled by the Departmental
Authorities would bring it into conflict with the
Constitutional provisions and would render it
unconstitutional and invalid.
In view of the above it is held that the order of
Conservator of Forests, Nizamabad in ordering
forfeiture of vehicle and rifles is de hors the
provisions of the Act and unsustainable. The order
of the High Court dated March 25, 2005 is
confirmed. It is further held that the Single Judge
and the Division Bench were not right in
directing the release of the property. The seized
property needs to be dealt with by a Magistrate
under Sec. 50 (4) of the Act. The Respondents are
directed to approach the Magistrate concerned
for the return of the property who will consider
such application according to law.
In the result it is held that the specified officer
empowered under Section 54 (1) has no power,
competence or authority to order forfeiture of
the seized property on composition of the
offence. The appeal is disposed of accordingly
on October 17, 2011.
K.B.R (2011)-10-Supreme Court Cases 794
N.B:- The meaning of the legal terms used, in
the judgment are as stated below:
Casus Omissus= A point unprovided for by a
De hors= Out of the point in question.
March 2012 VANA PREMI
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March 2012 VANA PREMI
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