Minister Acharya tours encroached forest area

- AMAN KOIRALA, SARLAHI

May 10, 2014-

Forest and Soil Conservation Minister Mahesh Acharya, observed the ongoing

rampant encroachment of forests in Murtiya on Saturday.

After observing the massive encroachment, a visibly stunned Acharya held

discussions with political parties, security agencies and stakeholders, and directed the them to initiate efforts to remove those living in the forest land illegally.

Stating that the encroachment of state property was not justifiable, Acharya asked the authorities concerned to identify real landless to be taken care of by the state.

“We can provide alternative means of sustenance to them by establishing forest-based industries,” Acharya said.  “We have been directed to initiate efforts in the local level and have been informed that the ministry will take necessary

decisions,” said Chief District Officer Dinesh Ghimire, a participant in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Sagarnath Forest Development Project chief Hem Raj Aryal expressed the need to plant trees in the area.

Taking advantage of the weak administration, the encroachers in collusion with the project officials had cleared 400 hectares of forest land in Murtiya during the People’s movement II and Madhes movement. Thousands have reportedly been living in the forest area at present.

According to Aryal, even people from outside the area have been living there in the guise of landless.

Published: 11-05-2014 07:52

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