Govt set to amend law‚ increase relief amount

KATHMANDU, APR 23: The government has been doing groundwork to make a timely amendment to Wildlife Damage Relief Guideline, 2011, so as to increase the relief package for families of victims killed by wild animals.
Until now, the government had been paying Rs 300,000 per human casualty through National Parks and Wildlife Reserves.
An official at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, said the government was set to increase the relief amount to Rs 500,000.
A decision to this effect was taken after the concerned communities demanded that reparation be equivalent to other compensation schemes of the government.
The government has also been preparing to increase the relief amount of those who received serious and minor injuries.
The existing amount is Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively. “The amount to be increased for serious and minor injuries has not yet been finalised,” officials said. According to the DNPWC, human casualties, crop damage, livestock depredation and property damage due to wild animals wandering out of the national parks and wildlife reserves have often angered the affected community and provoked them for retaliate against animals.
Recently, a rhino, which moved out of Chitwan National Park and went on a rampage in Hetauda bazaar as well as neighbouring areas killed one person leaving seven others injured on March 30.
The proposed amendment is also likely to increase the compensation for crop, property and livestock damage from the existing Rs 10,000.
The existing law has authorised national parks and wildlife reserves to provide relief amount for incidents caused by eight species namely tiger, elephant, rhino, snow leopard, common leopard, wild buffalo, wild boar, and bear.
“The new amendment will cover all wildlife species as the attacks are often unpredictable and people may be killed,” he informed. As many as 10 persons were killed and 30 others injured in wildlife attacks in different parts of the country, mostly in Chitwan and Bardiya. On an average, 10 to 20 people are killed by wild animals every year. As per DNPWC, more that 8,000 Nepali Army soldiers have been protecting 10 national parks and three wildlife reserves in the country.
Maheshwor Dhakal, DNPWC Ecologist, said there had been a rising gap between people and wildlife due to migration, haphazard development and forest fires, among other factors.