People’s representative found encroaching forest land to construct housesA local youth club has been protesting against Bohara after the latter started constructing a concrete house on the forest land.
An elected people’s representative in Bhajani Municipality, Kailali, has constructed his house by encroaching on forest land, said officials of Bhajani Forest Office.
According to the office, Sher Bahadur Bohara, the ward member of Bhajani Ward No. 5, encroached the land belonging to local Shanti Community Forest and started constructing a concrete house.
“We attempted to recover the encroached forest land a few days ago. But the local unit assured us it would resolve the issue by holding talks among stakeholders. The local unit has not taken any decision so far,” said Shishir Lamsal, assistant forest officer. “The forest office was preparing to evict the encroacher with the help of the police. But the local unit stopped us,” he added.
A local youth club has been protesting against Bohara after the latter started constructing a concrete house on the forest land. The forest office attempted to recover the encroached land by demolishing the structure after the club informed the office about it.
Bohara, however, refuted the allegations. “The community forest has constructed a trench to separate its land. The land where I am constructing the house is outside the boundary of the forest land. There are 15-16 other houses as well. I have not encroached the forest land,” said Bohara.
Talking to the Post, Mayor Sher Bahadur Chaudhary said that the municipal office had instructed Bohara to not construct the house on the forest land.
Encroachment of forest land is rampant in several places in the district. In Gorange area of Lamkichuha Municipality, around 140 families have built a settlement on forest land. Although Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project had acquired the land from by offering compensation to the locals a few years ago, the locals have still not cleared the land.
“We urged the forest office to evict them but to the locals have refused to leave the property,” said Lalbir Chaudhary, chairman of Jamara Canal Consumers’ Committee.