Kailali witnessing gradual loss of forests

GODAVARI, AUGUST 12

Forests are shrinking every year in Kailali due to increasing encroachment.

The under-construction Rani-Jamara-Kulariya Irrigation Project, Khutiya-Dipayal Fast Track, Seti Highway and Postal Highway have contributed to loss of forests in the district. Deforestation in Bhawar and Chure area has caused environmental imbalance, increasing inundation risk.

The provision is that 25 new plants should be planted for the loss of one tree for any development project.

Forest area in Kailali is spread over 5,939 hectare. It covers 62.68 per cent of the total land in the district.

Similarly, in the Tarai and Bhawar area, the forest area covers 1,939 square kilometres and in Chure it stretches to 1,303.7 square kilometres.

More than 25,500 hectare forest in the district has been encroached by individuals, land and flood survivors, landless squatters and from the institutional level. The connectivity of Basanta Biological Route is at risk due to encroachment.

Wildlife is suffering habitat loss and poaching and smuggling of animals has posed a challenge to environment conservation efforts, said Dhangadi’s Assistant Forest Officer Ramawatar Chaudhary.

Statistics show Kailali faces the most forest loss across the country. Internal migration rate is high here due to growing urbanisation, and availability of health, education, transport and other facilities and also because it is the capital of Sudurpaschim Province.