The Imperial Gazetteer of India

The Imperial Gazetteer of India

William Wilson Hunter

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  • EAN: 9780243806270

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Among other minerals may be mentioned manganese in the Nilgiris and Bellary; copper-ore in many parts of the Eastern Ghats antimony and silver in Madura; corundum in the valley of the Kaveri (cauvery). Garnets are abundant in the sandstone of the Northern Circars, and diamonds of moderate value are still found in the same region. The right to subjacent minerals in the lands of ordinary cultivators is recognised as belonging to the holders of the land, subject to special assessment in the event of their being worked. This right does not extend to lands at present waste. Fonds — The whole south-western coast is rich in forest vegetation, but much of the valuable timber grows beyond the limits of the Presidency — in Bombay, Mysore, Coorg, and Travancore. The first essay at forest conservancy in the Madras Presidency was the introduction of a State royalty over teak and other valuable timber in Malabar and South Kanara in 1807. The measure soon assumed the character of a Government monopoly of timber throughout the coast Districts, which led to abuses, and to discontent on the part. Of the proprietors and inhabitants. It was accordingly abolished by Sir Thomas Monro in 1822. Prior to 1847 there was no Forest Department in Madras Presidency. In that year, on the report of the denudation of the Malabar forests by native merchants trading with Bombay, a special officer was appointed, subordinate to the Public Works Department. The existing Forest Department for Madras Presidency was first organized in 1856, and has since then been reconstituted on an improved system. It is estimated that forests cover a total area in the mountains of the Madras Presidency of more than 5000 square miles. In 1882 — 83, the area technically termed 'reserved' was 2782 square miles. The total area, on hill and plain, dealt with by the Forest Department was estimated m 1879 to aggregate square miles. Throughout this area, rules of conservation are in force in order to prevent denudation of the forests, and to maintain a stock which will meet the demand for timber and fuel that is rapidly increasing throughout India.
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