Despite repeated notices against encroachments, people continued constructing houses on forest land in Bagjala in Haldwani district. The administration razed eight under-construction unauthorised houses today.

By ETV Bharat English Desk

Haldwani: Three weeks after violence broke out over demolition of an unauthorised madrasah in Banbhoolpura in Haldwani, eight under-construction illegal houses on forest land in Bagjala of Goulapar area of the district were razed on Saturday

The district administration is continuing its ongoing anti-encroachment drive to remove unauthorised structures from government plots. It was while demolising an unauthorised madrasah in Banbhoolpura in Haldwani on February 8 that violence broke out in the area leading to six deaths and over 100 injured.

Deputy District Magistrate, Haldwani Paritosh Verma said there were encroachments on forest land in Bagjala. “In the last few years, many people started encroaching on forest department’s land and also started building their houses here. The department had issued several notices to them but the illegal constructions continued. Thus, action has been taken against the encroachments today. In the first phase, eight under-construction buildings were razed,” Verma said.

During the drive, a huge police contingent was deployed in the area. Also officials of the forest department and administration were present. The entire area was separated by barricades so that outsiders do not interfere in the process. Forest department officials have found that land mafias are selling government plots on stamp papers of Rs 100 and Rs 50. Even though the administration appealed people not to buy land, plots were repeatedly bought on stamp papers.

SDO Forest Department Anil Joshi said that a notice was issued to the encroachers asking them to demolish their unauthorised constructions. In future, more encroachers will be identified and action will be taken against them, he added.

Notably, 100 hectares of forest department land in Bagjala, Haldwani was illegally occupied. In this, 66 hectares of land was earlier given on lease which had expired in 2008. Despite this, new houses were being built in the area.

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