The areas include reserved and protected forest land

Around 2,04,442.16 acres of forest land in the State has been encroached upon, said Minister for Forests B. Ramanath Rai.

Replying to Janata Dal (Secular) member K.M. Shivalinge Gowda during Question Hour in the Assembly, the Minister said these encroachments, involving 1,10,626 cases, includes the reserved and protected forest lands. The extent of forest encroachments had been sourced from the report of a committee of experts.

The statistics furnished by the Minister regarding the circle and division-wise break-up of encroachments show that Shimoga circle accounts for highest encroachment of 81,501 acres, followed by Chikmagalur (30,641 acres) and Canara (28,345 acres). Bangalore forest circle, which comprises the districts of Bangalore Urban, Rural, Kolar, Chickballapur and Ramanagaram, accounts for encroachments of 15,046 acres. Within Shimoga circle, Sagar accounts for highest encroachments of 44,300 acres. Similarly, Koppa in Chikmagalur circle has encroachments on forest land of 22,640 acres.

Mr. Rai said the State has 29,688.37 sq km of reserved forests, 3,50.07 sq km of protected forests and 10,024.91 acres of unclassified forest land.

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