Banke, October 27
Encroachment of forests is increasing in Banke district in recent years. The Division Forest Office, Banke, said that forest land was being encroached in the name of flood displaced and landless squatters in various places of the district.
Even those having land plots have encroached on forest land. According to the District Forest Office, 1,968 hectares forest has been encroached in the district.
Assistant Forest Officer Ganesh Bahadur Khadka said the largest forest encroachment has taken place in Rapti Sonari Rural municipality. A total 1,646.69 hectares forest land has been encroached upon in this rural municipality.
Similarly, 279 hectares forest land under the purview of Kohalpur Area Forest Office and 395.48 hectares forest land in Baijapur area have been encroached upon, the Division Forest Office stated.
Likewise, community forests under Area Forest Office, Jhora, have also been encroached upon. As many as 26.3 hectares forest land has been encroached in this area. Six hundred hectares of forest land has been encroached upon at Tikulipur, RaptiSonari Rural Municipality-2. The encroachment has taken place in the name of flood-displaced people.
Likewise, 300 hectares of forest land in Hariharpur of the same area, and 100 hectares at Amrahawa and 66.67 hectares at Mahendrapur of Shumshergunj have also been encroached upon, the Division Forest Office said.
It is said that 3,972 families have encroached upon forest land for constructing shelters and cultivation. An investigation conducted by the Forest Office showed that most of these families have land of their own but they are occupying the forest land as landless squatters.
A version of this article appears in print on October 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.