993ha forestland encroached in SirahaNine hundred and ninety-three hectares of forestland have been encroached upon in the name of landless people in Siraha district.
Nine hundred and ninety-three hectares of forestland have been encroached upon in the name of landless people in Siraha district.
According to the data of the District Forest Office, illegal settlers have built houses and other structures on the land belonging to 41 community forests.
The forest officials said the drive to clear the encroachment has failed because the local political parties are supporting the illegal settlers.
Siraha has 27,707 hectares of forest land.
“The district’s forest cover is declining due to encroachment, deforestation and natural disasters. People are also cutting down trees to expand their farmlands,” said Assistant Forest Officer Amarendra Yadav.
Around 900 families have encroached upon over hundred hectares of forestland and converted them into private properties at Churedanda, Deurali, Deurali Namuna, Salleri, Laligurans and Hattimunda community forests.
Land mafias are involved in these encroachments, said District Forest Officer Sunil Kumar Singh.
“The settlers are refusing to leave and we are having difficulty recovering the encroached forest land,” he said.
The DFO has so far only been able to evict 50 families from encroached land at Nanda baba Community Forest.