Kanchanpur, Sept 9: Wild elephants straying from the Shuklaphanta National Park have destroyed paddy planted in around 20 bighas of land at Garjmuni and Khajuwa of Shuklaphanta Municipality-5 in Kanchanpur district.
A herd of wild elephants coming from the national park entered the villages and destroyed paddy crops, said a local resident Raj Bahadur Tamoli. “Rs 30,000 was spent in planting paddy.
The elephants destroyed the crops last night. They ate all paddy,” he said. As a result, we have to purchase paddy in coming days, he said.
The elephants entered the villages at around 7:00 pm in the evening, said another local Jay Dhami. According to him, wild elephants had started entered the villages since three days. ” The elephants returned to their habitats in the following morning after eating and destroying paddy crops. They have damaged paddy plantations,” he said.
Local people resorted to different measures of beating a drum, lighting a fire and exploding crackers to chase off the wild elephants. “We stay awake throughout nights in the farmlands to save paddy from wild elephants. Herds of elephants do not easily get afraid and run away. They return to the national park only after filling their stomach,” said Jangi Saud.
According to the ward chair Chakra Bahadur Khadka, after wild elephants started destroying paddy, the national park has been asked to do the needful. “We have been demanding that the villages be fenced with electric barbed wires to control the entry of wild animals. But our call has yet to be addressed.”
For fencing the villages, the municipality lacks budget, and the provincial and federal governments have been requested to manage budget, he said.
Meanwhile, Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment of Sudurpaschim Province Ramesh Dhami and the Province Assembly member Om Bikram Bhat separately inspected the place where the wild elephants destroyed paddy.
On the occasion, the local people urged them to make arrangements to control wild elephants. Minister Dhami pledged to proceed the fencing of the villages with barbed wires after allocating budget from the ministry. RSS