Koshi Tappu to erect electric fence to prevent elephants
ITHARI, Feb 5: In the wake unabated elephant attacks in three districts of the eastern region, the authorities have decided to enclose Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR) with electric fence.
The decision came after the government decided to provide Rs. 2.5 million to mitigate repeated elephant attacks on human settlements in Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur districts. A few days ago, Bholiya Devi Mukhiya, 55, of Haripur VDC-3 in Sunsari district was trampled to death by a wild elephant.
After Mukhiya´s death, the cabinet meeting decided to provide the money to prevent further loss of life and property. According to Yadu Bansa Jha, Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation, the allotted budget will be released within two days and the work of installing electric fence around the KTWR will start immediately afterwards.
The locals of Sunsari district will completely get relief from tusker attacks if the area of Haripur and Siripur in Sunsari district can be enclosed by electric fence, said Minister Jha.
Rajendra Dhungana, warden at KTWR, said the construction of electric fence will start immediately after the government provides budget.
He also said the construction of electric fence can be accomplished within two months if everything goes as expected. The installation cost of electric fence can be around Rs 500,000 per kilometer.
Minister Jha also said the government will provide Rs 300,000 as immediate relief to Mukhiya family. Around one dozen wild elephants taking refuge in KTWR have been creating havoc in the nearby human settlements for the past two years. Four elephants from the herd have been creating terror in Saptari while three other tuskers that were involved in killing Mukhiya last Wednesday in Haripur Sunsari have also headed toward Saptari, locals said.
According to Panchanarayan Mandal, leader of a committee formed to press authority to control elephant attack, the herd of elephants enters Haripur area to eat sugarcane grown in the area. Besides Haripur, elephants have been causing trouble in Bairahawa, Bhardaha, Yoginiya, Barmajhiya, Mainakadari, Bagdam, Piprahapur, Kamalpur, Madhuwapur, Trikaul, and Udappur of Tapeshwari villages in Saptari district.