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State to declare 600 acres of Aarey as reserve forest

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

State to declare 600 acres of Aarey as reserve forest:


Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has announced the reservation of 600 acres of Aarey land near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) as forest, claiming it as the first instance of an extensive forest blossoming within the limits of metropolis anywhere in the world.

What is a reserve forest? How is it different from protected forests?

A reserve forest denotes forests accorded a certain degree of protection. The term was first introduced in the Indian Forest Act, 1927 in British India, to refer to certain forests granted protection under the British crown in British India, but not associated suzerainty.

Unlike national parks or wildlife sanctuaries of India, reserved forests are declared by the respective state governments.

  • At present, reserved forests and protected forests differ in one important way: Rights to all activities like hunting, grazing, etc. in reserved forests are banned unless specific orders are issued otherwise.
  • In protected areas, rights to activities like hunting and grazing are sometimes given to communities living on the fringes of the forest, who sustain their livelihood partially or wholly from forest resources or products.

The Indian Forests Act 1927 defines the procedure to be followed for declaring an area to be a reserved forest, a protected forest or a village forest.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is a reserve forest?
  2. Who can declare it?
  3. How is it different from protected forest?
  4. Overview of the Indian Forests Act, 1927.
  5. Difference between National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries.

Sources: the Hindu.