The Forest Department has submitted a report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding the encroachments on forest land at Jubbal in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. It was informed that an FIR has been registered for capturing 444 hectares of forest land in Rohru Forest Division. Till June 30, 2022, 421 people had occupied more than 10 bighas of forest land. The NGT was told that eviction orders have been passed against the occupants of 452 hectares of forest land. Of these, 441 hectares of forest land have been freed from possession.
Out of this, occupation of 453 hectares has been removed. Apart from this, cases are pending in the court against 1,650 occupants. It covers 203 hectares of forest land. 3,082 applications have been received for regularization of occupations on 1,075 hectares of forest land. The NGT has taken strong cognizance of the letter written by Kultar Singh, a resident of Jubbal. The petitioner has alleged in the letter that forest land has been encroached upon in Jubbal area. Under the orders of the High Court, the process of removing these encroachments was started, but later this campaign was called off. The NGT had found that the allegations were serious. The NGT had on 7 July 2022 ordered the joint committee to examine the allegations of the petitioner and take necessary legal steps.
Kultar Singh had said in the complaint that he wants to plant evergreen trees on the forest land, but due to encroachments, the forest department is not able to provide the land. Now the forest department has marked 45 bighas of forest land in Khadapathar instead of Jubbal for the petitioner to plant evergreen trees. Along with this, cooperation in planting trees has also been offered.