Wild elephants have entered human settlements in the southern part of Kanchanpur of late, destroying crops, property, and even attacking locals.
People of Baisebichawa, Raikarbarbichawa, Shankarpur, Dekhatabhuli and Punarbas Municipality have been living in fear of the tuskers. Locals said that the wild animals come from Dudhuwa National Park in India.
Bharat BK of Punarbas VDC complained that the elephants have destroyed three bigaha of his paddy fields completely. “The elephants have destroyed my livelihood,” he said. All farmers living in border areas reportedly share the same plight.
Farmer Manari Ram Chaudhary of the same VDC said that local farmers have borne great losses due to the attacks as the loss cannot be covered from the remaining crops. “We have no option but to buy rice this year, but we don’t know how we’ll be able to pay off the debts owed to landlords now that our crops lie in ruins,” he said.
Another farmer Karna Bhadur Kami of the VDC said elephants had destroyed two bigaha of his paddy field. “There isn’t even a straw left in the paddy field now,” he said. Kami added that the elephants had destroyed crops of more than 60 families.
Locals said that more than 30 wild tuskers have been entering human settlements and destroying crops for the last two months. “Sometimes the elephants come to our yards in the evening,” said Khadga Bahadur BK of Shankapur.
He said that the number of elephants would undoubtedly increase during the harvest season. Farmers in the area are uncertain how they are to protect their crops and themselves.
Elephant Victims Protest Committee Coordinator Keshab Prasad Timilsina said that more than half-a-dozen houses were destroyed by wild elephants this year. He informed that the elephants had destroyed paddy crops of more than 168 farmers.
Timilsina said that wild elephants destroy seasonal crops of more than 300 farmers every year.
The protest committee informed that of the 168 applications registered in the District Forest Office for compensation from elephant attacks, only 68 victims got compensated.
The remaining 100 were reportedly deprived of relief due to lack of land ownership certificates and other important documents. Victims eligible for relief will be given a compensation amount of Rs 10,000.