The need of the hour is to make the laws rational so that neither the ecology is affected nor the mafia or rich and influential are able to exploit it. It needs to be ensured that the poor people get their quota of timber easily from a nearby place – from the nearby forest. After all, it is the same villagers who often guard the forests and save them from fires. The policy will be more effective if the following measures are incorporated:
1. The price of the timber under rights should be set at a level that the poor right holder can afford. Certainly the price set in the old policy – from 25 paise to 6 rupees – is unrealistic.
2. Similarly the quantity and the period of timber distribution must be amended so that it can meet the demands of construction and repair.
3. Apart from timber rights, the rights associated with things like forest produce, bamboo for making baskets, agricultural implements, fodder, fuel wood also needs to be guaranteed.
4. Train forest officials at all levels for achieving developmental and participatory management orientation for changing the existing regulatory mindset.
5. Provide for patronage of Panchayats, NGOs, Mahila Mandals and Voluntary Agencies in afforestation program. The allocation of plantation targets to these agencies will expedite the greening process.
6. Popularize and expand programs on the use of non conventional energy sources, improved chullahs, use of Solar Energy Systems, biogas, use of LPG and Kerosene oil as a special drive in villages falling in five km. belt around the forest.
7. Plant more trees and make it mandatory for TD right holders to participate in plantation of new trees.
8. Incorporate Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology to monitors status of forests – fires, encroachment, tracking new plantation, etc.