Wild elephants destroy paddy planted in around 20 bighas of land

Published On: September 9, 2023 02:06 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KANCHANPUR, Sept 9:  Wild elephants have destroyed paddy fields covering approximately 20 bighas of land in Garjmuni and Khajuwa, Shuklaphanta Municipality-5, Kanchanpur district.

These elephants, straying from Shuklaphanta National Park, entered the villages and ravaged the paddy crops, according to local resident Raj Bahadur Tamoli. "We spent Rs 30,000 on planting the paddy, but the elephants decimated our crops last night, consuming all of it," he lamented. "Consequently, we will need to purchase paddy in the upcoming days."

Another local resident, Jay Dhami, reported that the elephants infiltrated the villages around 7 PM in the evening, having commenced their incursions three days earlier. "The elephants returned to their habitats the following morning after feasting on and damaging our paddy crops, leaving our plantations in ruins," he shared.

Local residents attempted various methods, including beating drums, lighting fires, and setting off fireworks, to deter the wild elephants. "We remained vigilant in our farmlands throughout the night to protect our paddy from these wild elephants. Herds of elephants are not easily frightened away; they only retreat to the national park once they are satiated," explained Jangi Saud.

Chakra Bahadur Khadka, the Ward Chairman, revealed that they had called upon the national park to address the issue as wild elephants began destroying the paddy. "We have repeatedly requested that the villages be fenced with electric barbed wire to control the entry of wild animals, but our pleas remain unanswered," he lamented. The municipality lacks the necessary budget to erect these fences, and they have appealed to the provincial and federal governments for financial assistance.

Meanwhile, Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest, and Environment of Sudurpaschim Province, Ramesh Dhami, along with Province Assembly member Om Bikram Bhat, separately inspected the area where the wild elephants wreaked havoc on the paddy fields.

During this visit, locals implored them to take the necessary actions to manage the wild elephant issue. Minister Dhami also pledged to allocate funds from the ministry's budget to proceed with fencing the villages using barbed wire.



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