150 families in Teri forest division get eviction notices

Rudrapur: The Teri Central forest division has identified encroachment at 40 lo- cations in the Udham Singh Nagar district and issued eviction notices to more than 150 families who have been living on forest land for decades. The sudden action has created a crisis for the families, who have been making a living through animal husbandry in the area. The forest department had marked the encroachers settled in the forests by satellite in the past, and the forest headquarters had given instructions to remove them from all districts. On Friday, the forest team started the eviction drive in a few identified points.

However, some of the families being asked to vacate claim that their ancestors were resettled by the forest department decades ago to save the forest. They claim to have cooperated in wildlife conservation efforts since then. “We were sur- prised to receive notices of encroachment. Most of the people living in the area do not have any identity documents, and no government documentation has ever been is- sued for anyone in their families.

150 families in Teri forest
150 families in Teri forest

They gave us a short period of 72 hours to vacate the lands and chose the days when we cannot even approach the court for seeking justice,” said Rakesh and Mohan of Kalyanpur, who are among those being asked to vacate.

Chief conservator of forests (van panchayat), Parag Madhukar Dhaka, said that the drive is ongoing as per the government orders. “The forest department has identified 11,800 encroachers in the state, and necessary action will be taken against those who resist the eviction,” he said.

Meanwhile, the case of more than 20 families of Van Gur jars settled in the forests in the Nagla area adjacent to Pant agar is pending in court, and no eviction notices have been issued to them.

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