Mahottari DFO starts investigation into alleged encroachment on community forest areas

Bardibas, Dec 26: An alleged encroachment upon a land belonging to different community forests in Baridbas of Mahottari has finally drawn the attention of the District Forest Office Mahottari.

Encroachment upon the Galtar Community Forest, Chihandanda Forest and Newardanda Kamindanda Forest areas by land mafias is reportedly rampant these days. The Office has received massive public complaints regarding this and started an investigation into the matter.
The Office has already sent a letter to the respective chairpersons of these community forests users’ committees, informing them about its action on the public complaints.
These forest areas lie near the highways. Representatives of civil society, political parties and social organisations had expressed their objections to the encroachment on land belonging to the forest areas, according to Office Assistant Forest Officer Chandeshwor Yadav.
The Office has suspended the construction of a cemented houses near the Dahalni rivulet until the investigation is over.
The locals have said though the encroachment on land belonging to the forest areas is taking place since earlier, the bodies meant for controlling it have turned blind eyes to this. However, they are hopeful that Office move would help control the encroachment of forest areas, said a local Raju Khadka who is also the central member of UCPN (Maoist).
It has been leant that land mafias have seized over 20 hectares of land belonging to the forest areas.