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Land sharks encroach protected forest lands

Land sharks encroach protected forest lands
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The protected forest lands at Koyyam village in Etcherla mandal in the district have been encroached by some people who are associated with the ruling Telugu Desam Party. 

Srikakulam: The protected forest lands at Koyyam village in Etcherla mandal in the district have been encroached by some people who are associated with the ruling Telugu Desam Party.

Initially, the ruling party leaders had allegedly managed the field level staff and encroached 62.37 acres of forest land bearing the survey number 427. According to the GO No. 543 issued by the departments of environment and forests and rural development on June 2, 1976, the total lands covered under survey number 427 was more than 285.91 acres.

The irregularities were noticed by the then officials of the district forest department while they were planning to grow plantations on the area in 2015 under the social forest scheme. After scrutinising the records at field level, the officials came to conclusion that 62.37 acres were under encroachment of some persons.

Immediately, the forest department officials filed a case against 27 persons, including noted TDP leader in Etcherla mandal Jeeru Rama Rao and his associates Jeeru Parasayya, Alapana Appa Rao, Kotta Venkata Ramana, Kotta Bhadrayya.

Cases were filed against 27 persons on July 28 in 2015 before the district judge’s court on the basis of the complaint made by the then District Forest Officer (DFO).

The prosecution procedure was initiated against 27 persons under AP forest Act, 1967, and Bio-diversity Act, 2002. Meanwhile, another person Majji Damodar Rao

who is a YSRCP loyalist, filed a writ petition in the High Court. The petitioner Damodar Rao sought the High Court’s intervention in initiating action against the forest land encroachers.

“We filed and submitted all details in the High Court regarding our action against the encroachers by registering a case and submitted evidence to the district judge in Srikakulam”, said District Forest Officer (territorial) and in-charge warden for wild life Chalumuri Shanthi Swaroop while speaking to The Hans India here on Friday.

By Chowdari Lakshmana Rao

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