Fear Of Snakes Confines Villagers Inside Home After Sunset In Chakdaha

A kalas snake (common krait) at Mosra village

Chakdaha, Sept. 18: Around five hundred families in Mosra-Nabapally village of Nadia’s Chakdaha have stopped accessing outside of their homes for over a month once sun sets in the afternoon, due to fear bite of Kalas snake (Common Krait).

With the visibility of venomous snakes, like Kalas, has increased alarmingly in the area with the occurrence of snake bites, that claimed a few lives including a class VI student, the residents have been passing days in fear and do not dare to come outside their homes once dusk descends.

Kalas is a highly venomous snake and works as a silent killer. The snake with a dark brown color and with white rings throughout the body, remains sluggish and docile during the day. But at night it becomes very active.

Villagers claimed that in the past few months, they have killed over fifty venomous Kalas (also known as Bengal krait), but, the situation appeared to have remained unchanged. At least three persons died in the village while over a dozen of persons were attacked by the venomous snake. 

The villagers sought the help of the Forest Department. But it could not so far come up to provide a solution. This has created a crisis as people in the village are compelled to confine themselves inside their homes every day once dusk descends.

“This has become an unbearable situation as it seems we have been living with snakes. Once the darkness descends the Kalas snakes take on roads and it has become difficult to access through the village roads. The situation has come to such a passé that students like me have stopped even visiting private tutors during the evening”, said Rikita Roy, a student of class XII, who lost her younger sister recently due to a snake bite.

“We by any means try to finish our essential works before the sunset so that we don’t require to go outside”, said Paresh Biswas, a resident of Mosra-Nabapally.

“Kalas Snakes are also sneaking our houses, cow shades, and crop stocks making life miserable. At night it becomes more active as it tries to take the comfort of bed and bite people while asleep”, he added.

Members of Chakdaha Biggyan o Sanskritik Sanstha (CBSS), a science organization that works for awareness of snake bite visited the village recently and took up the matter with the local administration while suggesting the release of Sakhamuti snake (Banded Krait) in the area, which is lesser venomous and kills Kalas.

Bibartan Bhattacharjee of CBSS said, “Release of Sakhamuti snake, which are less poisonous can be an alternative to eliminate Kalas. It is an enemy to Kalas and kill it. We have requested the Forest authority to consider our proposal”.

“There is no report of death due to bite of Sakhamuti…So people needed to be made aware of this snake as it is not a threat to their lives, but rather a threat to Kalas. There is at present no other alternative”, Bhattacharya, said.

However, he at the same time stressed the need to clean jungles in the area. Students of Dhanicha High School recently made an endeavor to clean the jungle area and took up an awareness drive.

Headmaster of the school Partha Pratim Chakraborty said, “We have lost a student in a snake bite in the village. Recently we have noticed a drop in the attendance of students from the village, which is due to fear of snake bites. People are afraid to come out home even in the day due to snake”.

An officer of Ranaghat Forest Range said, “We have learned about the increase of visibility of Kalas snake in the Chakdaha village and sought suggestions from the higher authorities…We expect to visit the village soon”.

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