556 hectares of forest land encroached in SalyanLocals of five VDCs in Salyan district have encroached 556 hectares of forest land belonging to Kalimati Area Forest Office.
Locals of five VDCs in Salyan district have encroached 556 hectares of forest land belonging to Kalimati Area Forest Office.
The residents of Rampur, Kalche, Kaprechaur, Laxmipur and Nigalchula VDCs have constructed settlements and cultivated land in 53 places of Kalimati forest.
The District Forest Office (DFO) has been requesting the locals to clear the forest repeatedly, but to no avail.
District Forest Officer Thir Prasad Koirala said some locals are even selling the land to others.
The DFO had taken action against four people for illegally occupying forest land last year. Kul Bahadur Bhandari, a local from Rampur, said a number of Saal trees have been chopped down by the illegal settlers. Many people are using the forest land in Rampur and Kalchea areas to plant crops, he added.
Meanwhile, the people occupying the forest land have refused to leave.
They have claimed that they are landless people and the authorities should either let them use the land or find them a place where they could live. According to the DFO, 1,851 hectares of forest land in Salyan have been occupied illegally.