New Delhi: Assam has topped the list of
states in terms of encroachment in forest land, with about
4,85,674 hectares of area being occupied, the government told
the Lok Sabha Wednesday.
Replying to a query, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
said that Andhra Pradesh is in the second place with 2,68,853
hectares of forest land under encroachment.
According to the data available from the states, about
17,94,879 hectares of forest land are under encroachment.
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand
too are not far behind with a total 5,28,077 hectares of
forest land under encroachment.
In the national capital, 200 hectares of forest land have
been illegally occupied by unscrupulous elements.
Ramesh said there was no proposal to regularise the
encroachments in violation of order of the Supreme Court.
"However, proposals of the state and UT governments
submitted after the approval of the apex court are considered
for regularisation by the Central government under the
provision of the Forest (Conservation) Act," he said.