Human-wildlife conflict goes unchecked in BankeFour people have been killed in separate tiger attacks in the district in the past three months.
Incidents of human-wildlife conflict have been on the rise in Banke National Park and surrounding forests of late.
Four people were killed in separate tiger attacks in Banke district in the past three months. All the victims are from Raptisonari Rural Municipality, which borders Banke National Park. However, only one family of the deceased has received the compensation amount of Rs 1 million as of now.
“The authorities concerned should protect the local population from wildlife attacks and the victims should be provided suitable compensation at the earliest. Otherwise, we will protest,” said Somati Chaudhary of Phattepur, one of the settlements affected by the increasing number of wildlife attacks.
Chandani Tharu, 32, of Raptisonari Rural Municipality-6 is the latest victim of the human-wildlife conflict in Banke. Tharu was mauled to death by a tiger on January 8 while collecting sal tree leaves in a nearby forest.
Similarly, 52-year-old Lila Bista of Raptisonari-4 died in another tiger attack at a local forest on January 6.
As per the prevailing legal provisions, the family of those killed in wildlife attacks has to be provided Rs1 million as compensation. But the bereaved families of both Chandani and Lila are yet to receive the amount.
The delay in providing the compensation amount on time has caused misunderstandings to arise among the local population and the officials of Banke National Park, the Division Forest Office and the home administration.
The Lumbini Provincial government on Friday provided Rs 50,000 each to the families of Chandani and Lila from its relief fund while Raptisonari Rural Municipality had earlier provided Rs 20,000 each to the families as immediate relief.
However, the local population are demanding that the authorities immediately release the full compensation amount of Rs 1 million to the families of the victims.
“The government authorities should promptly release the relief amount to the families,” said Somati.
According to Dadhilal Kandel, the chief at the Division Forest Office in Banke, the office is working to release the amount as soon as possible but the legal process to avail of the compensation is lengthy and cumbersome.
“The local residents would be happy if the compensation is released at the earliest,” said Surya Bahadur Khatri, the chief district officer of Banke. “There won’t be any delay on my part. The national park and the division forest office should expedite work to release the compensation promptly.”
As per the tiger census conducted in 2018, there are a total of 235 tigers and 21 of them are in Banke National Park.