District Collector P. Rajababu asked officials of the Forest department to identify encroachers on forest land and register criminal cases against them within a week.
Mr. Rajababu held the District Forest and Wildlife Conservation Committee meeting at Machilipatnam on Friday. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rajababu said the district has 28, 008.84 hectares of forest land, which is 7.42% of the total land, against the 33% required.
To increase the forest cover, encroachments on forest land should be taken very seriously and action should be initiated against encroachers, he said.
Mr. Rajababu further said that 310.30 hectares of forest land at Suravaram, Pothuraju Gattu, Nuthula Gattu and other areas under Metlapalli beat and 635.77 hectares of forest land under Kanuru Reserve Forest has been encroached.
District Forest Officer K. Rajasekhar, Additional SP Srihari Rao, DRO M. Venkateshwarlu and others were present.