BANKE- Encroachment of forest under various pretexts is increasing in Banke district in recent years.
The Division Forest Office, Banke has said that forest land is encroached in the name of flood displaced, landless squatters and persons displaced due to natural disasters in various places of the district.
Although it appears that the forest is being encroached in the name of flood-affected people and landless squatters, even those having land plots have encroached forests and cultivated the forest land.
According to the District Forest Office, 1,968 hectares of forest have been encroached upon in the district.
Assistant Forest Officer Ganesh Bahadur Khadka said that the largest forest encroachment has taken place in Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality. A total of 1,646.69 hectares forest has been encroached upon at this rural municipality.
Similarly, 279 hectares forest under the purview of Kohalpur Area Forest Office and 395.48 hectares forest in Baijapur area have been found encroached upon, the Division Forest Office stated.
Likewise, the community forests under Jhora Area Forest Office have also been encroached. As much as 26.3 hectares forest has been encroached in this area. 600 hectares of forest has been found encroached upon at Tikulipur, Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality-2.
Similarly, 300 hectares of forest in Hariharpur in the same area, 100 hectares forest at Amrahawa, and 66.67 hectares of forest at Mahendrapur of Shamshergunj have been encroached upon, the Division Forest Office asserted.
It is said that 3,972 families have encroached upon forests and are using the area for constructing shelters and cultivation. An investigation conducted by the Forest Office showed that most of these families have land of their own and land-ownership papers but they are posing as landless squatters.
2 killed, 5 injured in tractor accident
HETAUDA — Two persons were killed and five others were seriously injured after a tractor fell off the road last evening at Panchpandav village in Bagmati Rural Municipality-4, Makawanpur.
Police said that 50-year-olds Hem Kumar Shrestha and Bakhat Rai of Hariharpur Rural Municipality in Sindhuli district lost their lives in the fatal accident.
Shrestha died on the spot while Rai breathed his last on the way to a hospital in Hetauda, police added. The tractor (Na 6 Ta 442) was heading to Sindhuli district from Phawarbari in Makawanpur by supplying construction materials.
Those seriously hurt in the incident are Shivamaya Magar, Shakti Rai, Mohan Rai, Krishna Rai and Tilak Rai. The incident site is near Makawanpur-Sindhuli border along Dharan-Chatara road section.