ITHARI, Feb 7: After the government decided to provide a budget to the local administration in Sunsari district for electric fencing at the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (KTWR) to mitigate elephant attacks on human settlements, the local administration has demanded enclosure of KTWR wherever it touches human settlements in the district.
The District Administration Office (DAO) believes that many locals will find relief from repeated tusker attacks if the government encloses the western areas of KTWR with an electric fence.
“If an electric fence of at least five kilometers is erected from Bardha to the KTWR areas, the locals of Saptari district will get complete relief from elephant attacks,” said Chief District Officer (CDO) Hari Raj Adhikari.
According to CDO Adhikari, the Ministry for Forests and Soil Conservation is yet to decide on providing a budget for enclosing KTWR areas with electric fencing. An electric fence is the best way to tackle elephant attacks long-term, he added.
Tusker attacks can also be mitigated in villages where electric fencing cannot be extended if locals are prevented from bee-keeping and cultivation of tobacco, sugarcane, banana and chilly, he said.
The government had decided to provide Rs. 2.5 million to the district administration to enclose KTWR with electric fencing after a woman was trampled to death by a wild elephant some days back.
However, the Sunsari district administration says that the possibility of wild elephant attacks will remain even if a seven kilometer area of KTWR is fenced off. “Elephants can enter areas such as Haripur and Siripur even though these are going to be electrically fenced off.” informed Laxman Kumar Thapa, CDO of Sunsari.