Many people including eminent personalities, political leaders and high ranking officials have been encroaching on the Langol Reserved Forest areas which lie in Sadar West range and have been continuing to level the hill slope and construction of houses in the area. Under these circumstances, the Forest Department has not been able to take any action to stop the encroachment or evict those houses which have already settle in the areas under the Reserved Forest Act 1980.
According to an information receive by our staff reporter, the Forest Department have served a number of notices on the encroachers but became ineffective as most of the encroachers turned out to be people and relatives of high position holder of the State. On the other hand, it has been found that the Department of Revenue had already issued land deeds in the Reserve Forest areas. This was reportedly done without informing the Department of Forest. Besides, neither objection certificates were taken nor notices issued to the Department of Forest.
However, there are rules under the Forest Rights Act 2005 which forbids encroachment in the Reserved forest areas. Illegal encroachments of the reserved forest areas are punishable according to the Act. But the Tribal Welfare Department, which is the working agency, has not done anything to enforce it. As a result, the owners of the land do whatever they wish by keeping the land in the name of certain villager. No land can be allotted in the interest of any particular person. If clearance is not obtained, the Department of Forest can annul the deeds any time. If the land is within one hectare of land, the department can issue approval. But if it exceeds the figure, the Ministry needs to be informed.
On the other hand, it is reported that some people who possess land deeds are indulging in real estate business by selling the land. If the land deeds are before 1980, they would be valid, but if the deeds happen to have been obtained after 1980, then the Department of Forest would evict the occupants. While considering the influence of the powers that be, Langol Reserved Forest areas are being continuously occupied by the encroachers and many new villages have been set up so far. Langol Reserved Forest areas may vanished if necessary steps are not taken up in time including the endangered species which are taking shelter in the forest which are being hunted by the villagers of the areas, countlessly.