Banke, Oct 27: Encroachment of forest under various pretexts is increasing in Banke district in recent years.
The Division Forest Office, Banke has said that the forest land is encroached upon in the name of flood-displaced, landless squatters and displacement due to natural disaster in various places of the district.
Although it appears that the forest is being encroached upon in the name of flood-affected people and landless squatters, even those having land plots have encroached forest and cultivated the forest land. According to the District Forest Office, 1968 hectares forest has been encroached in the district.
Assistant Forest Officer Ganesh Bahadur Khadka said that the largest forest encroachment has taken place in the Rapti Sonari rural municipality. A total 1,646.69 hectares forest has been encroached upon at this rural municipality. Similarly, 279 hectares forest under the purview of Kohalpur Area Forest Office and 395.48 hectares forest in Baijapur area have been found encroached upon, the Division Forest Office stated.
Likewise, the community forests under the Jhora Area Forest Office have also been encroached. As much as 26.3 hectares forest has been encroached in this area. Six hundred hectares of forest has been found encroached upon at Tikulipur, Rapti Sonari rural municipality-2. The encroachment has taken place in the name of flood displaced people.
In like manner, 300 hectares of forest in Hariharpur in the same area, and 100 hectares forest at Amrahawa and 66.67 hectares of forest at Mahendrapur of Shumshergunj has been found encroached upon, the Division Forest Office said.
It is said that 3,972 families have encroached upon forests and using it for constructing shelters and cultivation. An investigation conducted by the Forest Office showed that most of these families have land of their own and land-ownership papers but they are posing as landless squatters. RSS