With the harsh words from the high court, Forest Department will now act against encroachers and it has registered FIRs against 2,350 persons who were in illegal possession of more than 10 bighas of forest land.

The court had set the deadline of June 19, but the department could complete the job only by the end of July. The total forest land involved in these cases is about 2,520 hectares. The maximum number of 855 cases involving 1,030 hectares of forest land are in Shimla Forest Circle, followed by Rampur Circle (642 cases and 618 hectares of land), Kullu (543 cases and 638 hectares) and Mandi (107 cases and 113 hectares).

The high court had given four months for removing the encroachments after the registration of cases, which will expire on October 31. However, the field staff has been slow in taking action and there is little possibility of the department meeting the deadline.

News Curtsy: The Tribune