Work on elephant corridor starts, Province 1 govt allocates budget

Jhapa, August 8

Conceived as an effective measure to reduce human-elephant conflicts, work related to the elephant corridor project has picked up the pace in Jhapa.

The government of Province 1 allocated Rs 60 million for the project which will appropriate some 152km of forest land and river banks from Jhapa’’s Kachankabal Rural Municipality to Bahundangi of Mechinagar Municipality.

“Survey of the project is over and we’ll call for tender notice for necessary fencing by next month,” said National Fund for Nature Conservation member-secretary Govind Gajurel, adding that some 20 million rupees allocated for the project in the last fiscal could not be used and was frozen.

Once the corridor is constructed, it is expected to minimise damage to human life and property from wild tuskers keeping them away from settlement areas while conserving the bio diversity of the region. This is the largest project aimed at controlling elephants in the country so far given the budget and size of the population that stands to benefit from the project. Prior to this, solar fencing and tunnel fencing were adopted to keep tuskers away.

According to District Forest Office Jhapa Chief Bodhraj Subedi, as many as 35 persons have lost lives in Jhapa from tusker attacks while nine elephants were killed by locals in the past seven years.