Encroachment rife in JajarkotIncidents of encroachment have been rife in Khirkhire, Sanophaka, Bhagwati and Sanopakha Khalegau Community Forests at Bherimalika Municipality in Jajarkot district, with local reporting illegal construction at least 500 houses and huts there.
Incidents of encroachment have been rife in Khirkhire, Sanophaka, Bhagwati and Sanopakha Khalegau Community Forests at Bherimalika Municipality in Jajarkot district, with local reporting illegal construction at least 500 houses and huts there.
Local Jagat Malla said the forests have been encroached on the pretext of collecting pine resin, firewood and building settlement for landless squatters. “The deforestation is rampant due to the carelessness of forest staff and users,” he said.
According to the District Forest Office, there are around 150 community forests in the district. Chairman of Khirkhire Community Forest Shiva Prasad Sharma said the forest land has been decreased by massive encroachment.
“Forest users and DFO staffers are not bothered about the ongoing situation,” said Sharma, lamenting the lack of support from the DFO.
Khirkhire forest used to be a dense pine forest 10 years ago, but the rampant encroachment has turned it into a barren land now, said Sharma.
Khadga Oli, a local of Laha-6, attributes rise in the use of firewood and wooden materials for deforestation. “But even the forest officials here have been careless,” he said.
Locals informed that Masara, Mayurpankhi, Banjthala, Gajalapakha, Nahakuli, Muli Pokhara along with many other community forests have been deforested in the district.
District Forest Officer Upendra Prasad Pattel, however, passes the buck on forest users arguing that they have not been responsible enough to their community forests. “Population growth is a major cause of deforestation in the district,” he said.