BHAKTAPUR: The unchecked trend of cutting down trees to encroach upon the forest areas and to turn them into business centres by building houses and other structural blocks remains a growing nuisance in Bhaktapur.

In the aftermath of the massive earthquake in April last year, some quake-stricken people had resorted to building temporary shelters in the forest areas.

Now, the forest areas are turning into business centres with hotels, restaurants and houses.

Hundreds of hotels and restaurants have sprouted up in the forest areas on left and right sides of Bhaktapur–Nagarkot road stretch in Nagarkot Municipality.

The people have encroached upon four anaas to 10 ropanis of land to start businesses without legal registration, Nagarkot's Ram Krishna Karki said.

The locals of Nagarkot including Nagarkot-Naldum Tourism Development Committee had appealed to the District Forest Office, the Road Division Office and the District Administration Office (DAO) to remove the houses and temporary blocks in the forest area, but in vain.

Moreover, the trend of building houses and restaurants in the Gundu forest area located in Anantaligeshwor Municipality-13 is continuing unabated.