The Forest Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has recouped some 20 kanals of state-owned reserve forest land worth more than Rs 30 million from the land grabbers during its anti-encroachment operation.
The operation was carried out in Dana Ferozpur Reserve Forest of Makhnial Forest Sub-division under the supervision of Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Haripur Sardar Farhad Ali and Sub-divisional SDFO Makhnial Zohaib Hassan. SDFO Zohaib Hassan told APP, “Reserve forests are the state-owned forests where all kind of construction and sale, purchase activities are banned under section 26 of the Forest Ordinance 2002”.
He informed that the total area of 20 kanals was encroached in 2015 whereas in 2021 the Survey of Pakistan was consulted to do the reallocation of forest boundaries. He said that after the Survey of Pakistan report in October 2021, the illegal occupants of the land were served with notices, consequently the land grabbers approached the Session Court.
After contesting for eight months, the stays were vacated on July 5th and July 8th, he said, adding, “I along with my staff went to the site and vacated the encroachment.” The SDFO further said that from October 2021 onwardsk, some 25 kanals and 14 marlas reserve forest land was retrieved that worth Rs 60 million.
“The Survey of Pakistan cadastral maps have verified the forest land status with proper GPS coordinates indicating the status of the land before and after any encroachments carried out in the area,” he added.