Under the British rule, forests were transformed into agricultural lands, thus cultivation expanded rapidly.
The reasons behind this were
(i) To colonial officials, forests were unproductive land, because they believed all uncultivated lands were unproductive. It produced neither revenue nor agricultural produce.
(ii) Uncultivated lands were seen as ‘wasteland’ and by enacting the ‘Wasteland Rules’, uncultivated lands were taken over and given to select individuals.
These individuals were given various concessions.
(iii) The colonial rulers wanted to rule over a settled population. They wanted the rural people to live . in villages, in fixed places and have fixed rights on particular fields. So, they cleared the forests and made these as village settlements.