Chapter 3: Forest Administration


Pramila Khadanga
Binayak Acharya Government College, Berhampur, Odisha – 760007, India


The British, on their own land as well as throughout their colonies, posed a systematic approach towards establishment of a standardised state administrative system. For them the connotation ‘administration’ was synonymous to ‘rule of law’. The aftermath of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 brought a remarkable debut in the colonial history of India in so far as it compelled the British Crown to take over the direct administration over India which gave rise to an era of making rules in Indian colony with a spring of legislative reform measures that shaped the operation of the sovereign by defining its relationship to the human as well as the non-human aspects those were to be dealt with. It was their policy to codify a statute and to pave the way of its execution. With this objective, they legislated over numerous subjects as handling of the criminal activities likely to be resorted by the common people which is reflected through statutes like the Indian Penal Code, that is dated back to the year 1860. Such statutes with a little modification are still in operation in India even after long 16 decades of its enactment. During that very historical period, administration over the forest as a distinct state subject was also recognized by the Colonial Government and there were intensive legislative efforts from their part to bring it to the statute book in the form of the Indian Forest Act 1865, Indian Forest Act 1878 and later on the Madras Forest Act 1882 that was enacted by keeping in view the localized administrative needs of south India. The said Madras Forest Act 1882 was being administered over the south Odisha forest region which was ultimately replaced by the Orissa Forest Act 1972.

South Odisha
October 10, 2023