The solar fencing erected last November from Jhiramale in Ilam district to Mechi River along the Nepal-India border has helped communities in Jhapa to keep the wild elephants at bay. But it has not bode well for those living on the other side of the border, with Indian villages complaining about the rise in tusker terror in recent months.
The construction of the 17-km solar-powered offset fence along the border on the Nepal side has controlled the movement of herds of wild elephants or individual tuskers crossing into Nepal from India, reducing the instances the human-elephant conflict situation to a large extent, according to the forest authorities in Jhapa.
The human-elephant conflict in Jhapa has been reported for almost four decades. During the initial days, the number of elephants entering the villages in Nepal was reported to be around 30 and 40 individuals, but the number exceeded 120 in the areas, according to locals.
“The herds enter Bahundangi at late evening for grazing and go back across the border into India before early morning,” said Siddhartha Bajracharya, director at National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), the implementing agency of the project. “They enter as tourists, go on rampage causing damage to houses, crops and even injure or kill people. It had been Nepal’s problem for almost four decades,but it has now shifted to India,” he said.
However, Nepali authorities claim, the fencing was put to shield away the tuskers that wander through the settlement areas, but not to break the corridor movement along the forests. “The elephants went on rampage, destroying crops for nutritious food. We have not blocked the traditional route,” said Subedi. He further said that the Nepali authorities will