The spread of Railways from the 1850s created which new demands on the Indian forests and how were they met? Explain.
Answer to be written in the exam:
essential for Colonial Trade and for the movement of Imperial Troops.
To run locomotives,
wood was needed as fuel
, and to lay. Railway line sleepers were essential to hold the tracks together.
Each mile of the
Railway track required between 1,760 and 2,000 sleepers.
From the 1860s, the Railway Network expanded rapidly. By 1890, about 25,500 km. of track had been laid.
In 1946, the
length of the tracks had increased to over 765,000 km
. As the Railway tracks spread through India, a larger and larger number of trees were being cut annually.
- As early as the 1850s, in the Madras Presidency alone, 35,000 trees were being cut annually for sleepers . The Government gave out contracts to individuals to supply the required quantities. These contractors began cutting trees indiscriminately.