Authorities kill birds despite resistance from locals

POKHARA: Authorities have started killing fowls in the lake city despite obstruction from the local residents.

People residing near Tutunga in Pokhara-15 did not let affected birds be buried in a pit dug there arguing that the move would spread bird flu in the area. Tutunga local Prem Pariyar said water from the pit could contaminate sources.

The pit was dug amid security presence but the locals have created hurdles on the access road. The authorities, however, have not given up. A Rapid Response Team has culled 1,781 chickens and ducks in the crisis zone. According to Dr Amar Shah, communication officer, Bird Flu Control Room (BFCR), 529 kg of poultry feed and 82 eggs were also taken under control.

Some locals were found to be hiding their poultry. Others had already eaten their chickens citing that the government would provide them only Rs 100 as compensation for each bird. The farmers are also not assured of the promised pay since, they said, all birds culled in Jhapa last year were not compensated for.

“We will immediately provide relief to the farmers with small quantity of poultry whereas those with larger amount will have to wait for a few days,” Shah said, adding that some 12,000 birds would be killed over the next week. Stating that the birds would be safely destroyed, BFCR head Dr Bimal Kumar Nirmal urged the locals to help in the process.

“The burial will be foolproof. The pit will be two metres deep and disinfectants will be sprayed,” he said. A radius of Gharipatan has been declared a crisis zone, with six posts for security checks.