5,000 ha of forest land encroached upon in NawalparasiNearly 5,000 hectares of forest lands near the East-West Highway in Nawalparasi have been encroached upon and being converted into private properties.
Nearly 5,000 hectares of forest lands near the East-West Highway in Nawalparasi have been encroached upon and being converted into private properties.
The forest lands at places like Sunwal, Bhumanhi, Badaghat, Tribeni, Daunne, Arunkhola, Chormara, Kawasoti, Likhaha and Gaindakot are witnessing construction of houses, hotels, schools, hospitals and temples these days. The District Forest Office, meanwhile, is powerless to intervene because the people who have taken over the lands are protected by local political parties.
District Forest Officer Bijayaraj Subedi said it was impossible for his office alone to vacate the lands that were taken over by the people who called themselves landless.
“They are protected by political parties here. The government and other concerned sides should work together if the forest lands are to be recovered,” he said.
A task force formed to recover the forest lands in the district was unable to evict the illegal settlers despite repeated attempts, added Subedi.
Similarly, in Makwanpur district, around 1,560 hectares of forest lands have been encroached upon by the so-called landless people, according to the data at the Regional Forest Directorate.
Ganesh Jha, regional forest directorate, said 2,652 families in Makwanpur were living in houses built on forest lands.