Answer :

After the establishment of British Rule (in the last 200 years), forests have been rapidly cut down for a variety of reasons.

1. Firstly, this happened in order to meet the demand for wood for purposes such as building railways, ships, factories, etc. Secondly, many industries required wood pulp. As a result, forests were cut down and wood was sold out.


2. Forests were also cut down to create plantations of tea, coffee, rubber and quick growing trees like eucalyptus or bamboo. Therefore, the total area under forests have greatly declined.


Podu cultivation was practised by tribal groups such as Kolams on hill slopes. This kind of agricultural practice did not harm the forest cover because the tribals usually had a habit of leaving lands fallow for a period of time and shifting to alternate places. Instead, the demarcation of reserved forests by the government rendered by tribals homeless since they did not take account of the agricultural practices of the tribals.


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