Ratuwamai Afforestation Project calls on local units to stop forest encroachment

- ARJUN RAJBANSHI, DAMAK

Jun 19, 2019-

The Ratuwamai Afforestation Project has urged the local units to stop encroachment of its forest lands in Jhapa.After rampant encroachment of forest lands, by both institutions and individuals, the project officials on Saturday held discussions with the elected representatives of Shiva Satakshidham Municipality and Kamal Rural Municipality of Jhapa and Chulachuli Rural Municipality of neighbouring Ilam district and urged them to help the project in preserving of the forest.

The project originally occupied 2,753 hectares of land to the north of the East-West Highway from the Ratuwa river to Kankai river.

Khem Lal Bishwakarma, chief at the project’s head office in Kerkha, said that 53 hectares of forest land of the project has been encroached upon. Various organisations have encroached 27.9 hectares of forest land while the individuals have grabbed 25.5 hectares land, he said..

“The local units have been encroaching forest lands and have been constructing various infrastructure illegally,” said Bishwakarma, urging the elected representatives for help to protect the forest.

The local bodies, however, denied encroaching the forest, insisting that they just wanted to develop and promote potential areas within the forest.

Menuka Kafle, chief of Kamal Rural Municipality, said that her local unit has been using the empty space as playground until the project plants trees in the space.

Published: 19-06-2019 08:12

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