Cultivable fields left barren due to wild animal menace in Kawasoti


BY MEENA KANDEL, Kawasoti, Feb. 22: Villagers adjacent to the Chitwan National Park in East Nawalparasi are encountering difficulties in safeguarding their crops from wild animals.

Due to the intrusion of wild animals, many residents have left their fields barren. So, the arable lands surrounding their homes are turning into grazing ground.

Maya Gurung from Kawasoti-12 has left three katthas of land uncultivated for the past two years. Despite her efforts, wild animals destroy the crops before she could harvest them.  

Gurung said, "We cultivate paddy, wheat, corn and mustard, but protecting crops from wild animals is a challenge, so we have opted to keep the field barren. So, we have decided to leave the fields uncultivated, even during the wheat planting season"

Kamala Rana Magar, another local said that rhinoceroses come out of the Chitwan National Park daily and eat the wheat, sugarcane, bananas, and vegetables of their farms. 

The rhinos, wild boars, deer and monkeys from the forest destroy all the crops, so residents also fear travelling within their villages, said Magar. 

Jagat Kaji Gurung from Kawasoti-12 said they are compelled to leave their fields barren and buy grain and vegetables from the market. 

Lal Bahadur Gurung, Ward Chairman of Kawasoti 13, said they have started the construction of a wall spanning about four kilometres in Kawasoti Municipality to chase away wild animals, including rhinoceroses.

However, the construction of this fence, especially in Ward Nos. 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 17, remains incomplete. As a result, wild animals are entering through the gaps in the unfinished sections.

Gurung said that despite recommendations from the local buffer zone committee, obtaining compensation from the park authorities, especially for damages caused by rhinoceroses and boar, has been challenging due to the complex process and inadequate compensation measures.

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