July 1. Chitwan, The Crocodile Breeding Centre at Kasara in Chitwan district is at stake after the Chitwan National Park started curtailing budget to it.
According to Assistant Conservation Officer at the Centre, Bed Bahadur Khadka, the Centre requires a budget of some Rs 5 million annually to operate. But the National Park has allocated only Rs 1 million this fiscal year, causing financial crunch for the Centre to run further.
Khadka shared that anually it takes some 18,000 kilogrammes of fish to feed some 600 crocodiles at the Centre.
The Centre opened in 1978 runs in the strength of 11 staffs who bring the crocodile eggs from various rivers to the centre for hatching. The hatchlings are released into different big rivers, including Karnali, Kosi and Rapti once they grow up.
Chief Conservation Officer at the Chitwan National Park, Kamaljung Kunwar admitted that adequate budget was not being allocated for the conservation of the crocodiles. He cited it as the failure of the policy-makers to acknowledge the importance of these amphibian reptiles to the river ecosystem.