CHITWAN, May 7: Septuagenarian Magara Darai and his wife Budhani had just gone to bed after dinner when they heard an unusual sound outside their house. They both tried to get up from their mattress on the floor when they heard something smashing one of the walls of the house. Only then did they realize that wild elephants had entered their settlement.
"A rampaging elephant destroyed one of the walls of our house," said Magara. When the tusker attacked their house, the old couple could do nothing but hide in a corner shutting their mouths with their hands. "We could come out only after the beast left," he added. When they came out of the house, they realized that elephants had damaged not only theirs but also others' houses. That night, they could not sleep properly.
A year ago, Magara and his wife had migrated to Khadgauli from Dhampuse of Shukranagar. They were living on the land of their grandson. "We have no option to living in this damaged house after repairs," laments Magara.
The same day, an elephant attacked the house of Bimal Darai, 26. As soon as the elephant smashed into their house, Bimal and his wife too had to stay in a corner of the house clutching their little daughter.
On April 21, five houses in Khadgauli of Bharatpur Metropolitan City-6 were damaged by elephants. "We were promised compensation but we haven't received that so far," said Bimal. This has compelled them to live in the same damaged house, like many others. There are many people who are living in tents as their houses have been damaged by wild elephants. Some are even taking shelter in the houses of their neighbors.
Wild tuskers do not only attack and destroy houses but also damage crops and other property. Locals here are compelled to bear with this 'torture' as their village lies near the Chitwan National Park (CNP). As per the government provision, people get a maximum compensation of Rs 10,000 if wild animals destroy their houses/sheds.
The same amount is offered to them if wild animals destroy their crops or stored food grains. But villagers lament that the relief amount is very less to cover their loss. They also complain that they have to wait for a long time to receive the relief amount.