Chitwan, April 21
In the two decades since the Buffer Zone Management Committee of Chitwan National Park came into being, the park authorities have released 750 million rupees in the name of the buffer zone.
As per the records, the budget so far used has been spent under various headings such as education, community development, income generation, skill development, control of river erosion, compensation, and protection and conservation-related work.
In view of the increasing conflict between the locals and the national park in the wake of the latter’s establishment more than four decades ago, the buffer zone management committee was set up in order to minimise the conflict in 1995/96.
According to Assistant Conservation Officer and Information Officer Nurendra Aryal, there is a provision that 50 per cent of the national park’s income must be distributed in the buffer zone for various development programmes as well as for compensation for damage caused by wildlife.
“Though there were some people who were negative about the national park in the early days, even those people are positive now as we get a huge amount of money from the national park for development of the buffer zone area under various other headings,” said Chitwan National Park Buffer Zone Management Committee chair Madhukar Malla, adding the buffer zone received some 133.77 million rupees this fiscal alone.
Similarly, the national park provides one million rupees in compensation to the family concerned if there is any wildlife attack related death and provides up to two lakh rupees in case of any injury caused by the attack of wildlife from the national park. Likewise, it provide compensation ranging from Rs 10,000 to 30,000 for any property damage caused by wildlife.
In the past twenty years, some 176 persons in the buffer zone have lost their lives due to the attack of wildlife while some 614 have been rendered injured.
A version of this article appears in print on April 22, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.