Chitwan National Park losing land to encroachers

CHITWAN: The Chitwan National Park has narrowed after encroachment upon its land by people around it, of late.

The Park with an area of 932 square km has spread into four districts of Nawalparasi, Makawanpur, Chitwan and Parsa.

Altogether 2,330 households live around the Park, informed Chief Conservation Officer Ram Chandra Kandel.

Due to the political protection to the alleged encroachers, the concerned authorities are unable to take the action, informed Kandel.

In Chitwan district, 920 homes were constructed encroaching 812 hectares of land.

Similarly, 910 and 500 houses were constructed in 335.2 and 60.93 hectare land of the Park in Nawalparasi and Makawanpur districts.

The land encroachment has increased the risk of loss of the World Heritage Site status too, the Park officials said.

If anyone is found encroaching the land of a national park, they will be punished under Sub-Section 6 of Section 26 of the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 with Rs10, 000 fine or two years of imprisonment or both.