CM Karki walks 100 km in elephant-affected area

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BY BISHNU PRASAD POKHAREL,Damak, Feb. 24; A team consisting of Chief Minister of Koshi Province Kedar Karki that embarked on a walk in the elephant-affected areas for nature conservation and tourism promotion has completed a journey of over 100 kilometres in three days. 

Chief Minister Karki, other ministers and security chiefs of the province began a journey in the elephant-affected areas on Thursday to conduct on-site studies for tourism promotion, including interviews with the affected locals. 

CM Karki and the team commenced their trek from Prasad Gauda in Mechinagar Municipality Ward No. 4, situated on the Nepal-India border. Karki entered Morang from Damak through various municipalities of Jhapa and Ilam on Friday afternoon. He crossed different community forests of Jhapa and Ilam to reach Damak.

During the trek, Karki listened to the grievances of the locals. He expressed that the purpose of the journey was to hold discussions with the people affected by wild animals and to seek solutions. Karki said that the trek had begun with the slogan “Animals, water, jungle and people-friendly and responsible people’s representatives.

“After completing the trek, we will prepare a report based on the suggestions received from the people and act to find solutions to the problems,” he said. “We perceive this as an opportunity to closely listen to the people,” Karki added.

Experts on elephants and wild animals, heads and representatives of concerned bodies related to forests, and local people's representatives are also present in the walk organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Ministry of Forestry and Soil Conservation of the Koshi Province Government. 

There is a panic in eastern Nepal due to the havoc caused by wild elephants coming from India every day. Lately, elephants have migrated from India through the Bahundangi border into various municipalities of Morang, Sunsari, and Udayapur in Jhapa and Ilam districts. 

Residents tormented by elephant encounters have been urging authorities at the local, provincial, and federal levels to address the problems caused by wild elephants. To gain a deeper understanding of this issue and to devise necessary programmes for its resolution, Chief Minister Karki has decided to pass through 243 kilometres from Jhapa to Udayapur on foot, according to his secretariat.

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