Bhadrak: Panicked villagers in riverside areas of Chandbali block are being forced to abandon livelihood with deadly crocodiles swarming their farmlands.
A ground zero report from Kulhibindha village in the block revealed that people near the river live in dread and have to forsake their farming as crocodiles straying into their farmlands have become a regular affair.
“The land is quite fertile here but due to fear of crocodiles we are unable to carry out agricultural activities on 10 to 15 acres of land situated nearby the river bank since last 10 years or so,” a local resident said.
“Not only cattle, the crocodiles have also killed half a dozen people forcing us to abandon our farmlands. We cannot be alert all the time. Recently, the reptiles killed two women and some cattle. The forest administration is not concerned for our safety. Barring a warning board that displays caution from entering into the rivers the forest department has not done anything significant,” he added.
Former chief wildlife warden Biswakeshari Mohanty said due to proliferation of crocodiles in large number in recent years, people living nearby river banks are always in danger. “So if the forest department can install barricades along the banks in a mechanised way, then loss of lives could be averted and people would be able to carry on their business as usual,” he said.