General Rules for the Localization and Demarcation of Enclosures in Reserved Forests
Published vide Notification No. B. P. F. No. 184, dated 3rd July 1903, and G. O. Ms. No. 2476, Development, dated 8th November 1937
Rules for the Demarcation of Forest Blocks
(B. P. F. No. 53, dated the 1st February 1892; B. P. F. No. 391, dated the 8th September 1897 and G. O. Ms. No. 2476, Development, dated the 8th November 1937)[N.B. - The instructions conveyed in the rules may be modified to suit local conditions or for other good reason] Selection of boundaries, Reserve boundaries and demarcation. - District Forest Officers cannot be too careful about.this, and though maps and local information regarding occupied lands may be usefully employed at the time, it is absolutely necessary in order to secure good boundaries that they should be selected, marked and described on the ground, and in all cases by the District Forest Officer himself, or some subordinate of particular intelligence, who can be fully trusted. To save delay at the time of selection, the points may be temporarily marked by planting flags and tarring the nearest rock or tree, or cutting some figure on the ground; but immediate steps should be taken to follow up with preliminary demarcation and clearing, as described further on under permanent demarcation, but of a less substantial nature pending final notification under section 16-the boundary being, however, in all cases clearly defined. A selected boundary based only on a map of the country, or on information supplied by subordinates can never be relied on, and has more often than otherwise proved a most difficult and expensive one to subsequently mark, clear and protect. 2. Ridges and spurs, roads and paths, streams and ravines, may be regarded as natural boundaries, and point to point line artificial ones. 3. When a stream or ravine is selected, the outer bank should, as a rule, be taken, so as to protect the growth on both banks, and to conserve the fishing. 4. Attention should also be given, in the selection of boundaries, to making them as practicable and easily and cheaply maintained as possible for clearing and fire protection and to their use as rides for inspection, or roads for export of forest produce. 5. Provided that there is no interference with recognised occupancy rights without the consent of the owner or occupier, it is necessary that artificial boundaries should be demarcated and cleared sufficiently for identification (see rule 1) before settlement (if properly selected there ought to be few alterations by the Forest Settlement Officer), but the demarcation of undoubted natural boundaries may be postponed when necessary till after settlement is complete. 6. In demarcating natural boundaries, such as railways, roads, occupied lands, etc., it is better, unless there are special reasons to the contrary, to leave a margin, not exceeding one chain, for the extraction of ballast, load metal, movements of cattle, etc. 7. All boundaries must be demarcated and cleared before survey can be undertaken. 8. To secure business like and straight practicable lines, much care and thought is necessary. The line, in as long sections as possible, should run evenly along the limits, or in the direction of the main points aimed at, and taking no more turns than are necessary, the points or turns of a line should be chosen and described so that from one point the next may be readily seen with the naked eye (or will be so seen when the line is cleared) and all of them should be as conspicuous as possible, especially from the outside of the reserve. For this reason, points should, whenever possible, be chosen on high places and open spaces and they must be so selected as to allow of the lines between them running straight. 9. Permanent demarcation and clearing. - For various reasons, the easiest, cheapest and most easily maintained demarcation for general use is that of a pillar at every point (i.e., turn) of the line, with a clearing between the pillars; and the most ready form of boundary is that of a substantially built cairn with centre post as described further on. In certain localities, where slabs of stone are cheaply and easily procurable they may, with advantage, be used for boundary pillars. They should stand 5 feet above ground, and be substantial enough to prevent their being removed or broken off by cattle, etc. 10. The clearing should be a complete clearing up of the line (including, in time, removal of all stumps and loose stones) for a breath of not less than 6 yards (5-1/2 yards would be exactly 2 acres a running mile), for which if in open ground a half foot broad and deep ditch running along the outer edges of the pillar line may be substituted. N.B. - The above are the rates arrived at by experience in the Salem district, but will of course vary considerably according to local circumstances and schedule of rates. 11. The forest boundary pillars will, of course, mark the actual limits of the reserve and should be placed on the outer edge of the cleared line. The pillars should be visible from one to the other, and in cases where the turning points of a boundary are so distant as to render this doubtful, intermediate cairs or pillars should be erected; as a rule, boundary pillars should not be more than 200 yards apart. 12. As a useful supplement to pillar demarcation, a line of closely planted tall growing trees such as palmyrahs may, with advantage, be planted along the inner edge of the pillar line. 13. Fences and walls, when required, should run along the outer edge of the pillar line. Note for information. - A plain aloe fence will average about four pies a yard, or Rs. 36 a mile. An aloe fence on a two feet high earth ban will average about one anna a yard, or Rs. 110 a mile. A three foot high mud wall one foot broad, will average about one anna three pies a yard or Rs. 137 a mile. A three foot high rough stone wall 11/2 feet broad will average about 1 anna 6 pies a yard, or Rs. 165 a mile. A wire fence from Rs. 500 a mile. The earth for bank or wall should be taken from a broad shallow ditch just outside and slopping downwards to the bank or wall, so as to make a more efficient barricade against cattle (See Figure 1 below). 14. The construction of the pillars (where the form of cairn and post is adopted) should be as follows. The posts must be straight and of the most durable woods obtainable. They should be 6 feet long and not less than 6 inches in diameter; one foot will be sunk in the ground, and one foot will remain exposed above the cairn. (See Figure 2 on page 161)
Note. - When numbering pillars, it is advisable to similarly number some bottom stone in the pillar, or the nearest rock, in case pillar top numbers should disappearPillars may, with advantage, be splashed from time to time with white-wash. It renders them more distinct interference with them more easily detected, and proves that guards and watchmen are attending to the boundaries. 20. Signboards. - Signboards or "forest reserves" or "forest topes", "forest depots", "forest offices", "forest stations" and "forest camps" should be made with a zinc or tin plate, painted white on both sides, with 1 inch letters cut out and nailed to 1 inch boards (= inch planks set crossways), painted black on both sides (with tar), and measuring 15 inches upright by 12 inches broad. They should be fixed by one nail, so as to hang perpendicularly from suitable posts or trees, and must always be placed on the left hand side of any road or path that enters the enclosure as well as (in the case of reserves) on the side of the reserve where every path or road that border the reserve, first touches it and last touches it. In the case of reserved forests, every path that touches the boundary, and every admitted right of way must be marked as shown in the margin with a signboard.
Note. -The cost of these signboards will average about 12 annas each. The tarred boards will last a long time, and the zinc plates can be so nailed on that by temporarily slipping a piece of tin or zinc behind the plate and using a white paint brush; the white on the plates can be renewed at any time without removing the plates from the boards.Where signboards are considered useless, they may be dispensed with, and cairns or stone slabs put up to distinguish roads or paths. 23. It is most important at the time of selection, demarcation, or clearing of boundaries, that a careful record should be kept and filed with the settlement papers to show the time, the cost, and the name of the responsible officer supervising the work, and in the case of selection or the alteration of a boundary, a statement of the description and situation of each point and the run of the line from it, must be recorded and should be signed by (or the names at least given of) the village officers and fores t subordinates who were present. 24. Pending the actual survey of a reserve, it is also necessary for record to mark neatly by red ink dots on the best available maps, the boundaries, as nearly as can be shown; and when boundary lines have been cleared, this also should be shown on the map by a thin red line just above and another just below the dots.