Chure forest in Sindhuli encroachedHundred bighas of forest lands at Jhunga in Dudhauli Municipality and Chandanpur in Kamalamai Municipality in Sindhuli district have been encroached upon for building private properties.
Hundred bighas of forest lands at Jhunga in Dudhauli Municipality and Chandanpur in Kamalamai Municipality in Sindhuli district have been encroached upon for building private properties.
According to authorities, the lands are taken over by people who call themselves ‘landless’. Locals said that deforestation started in the forest area some two decades ago.
The encroachers have also started to cultivate on the forest land these days. Some of them have built houses in Chandanpur forest. Budhe Dunuwar, a local, claimed that some powerful people have grabbed the forest land in the name of landless people.
“The area has witnessed a haphazard cutting down of trees,” Dunuwar said.
However, the concerned authorities are still unaware about the unsystematic chopping down of trees. The Division Forest Office (DFO) is powerless to intervene because the people who have taken over the lands are protected by local political parties, locals claim.
The landless people who have been living in the forest land for a long time are now demanding for landownership certificates. Basanti Dunuwar, a landless woman, said that genuine landless people are facing problems because of fake ones.
“We are unable to construct homes due to a lack of land ownership certificates,” Dunuwar said. Meanwhile, Narayan Shrestha, chief at the DFO, said that they are planning to mobilise a special taskforce to stop forest encroachment. “The government and other concerned stakeholders should work together if the forest lands are to be recovered,” Shrestha said.