Jumbo herd destroys crops in Athgarh

Cuttack: A herd of 20 elephants have brought extensive damage to few acres of crops in some villages under Athgarh area, forest officials said on Thursday.

The villagers of Sarkoli under Khuntuni range said that they have lost their entire crop due to the wild elephants.

“We were about to reap the paddy. But the herd comprising as many as 20 pachyderms destroyed our crops and we have nothing to bring home this year”, said Golak Nayak, a farmer.

“Along with the forest officials we tried a lot to disperse the herd. But our effort was to no avail. The herd stayed in the region for two days and left the place but not before destroying our entire crop”, said Ramana Nayak, another farmer.

Forest officials said the jumbos have moved inside the forest this afternoon.

The villagers alleged that the lackadaisical approach of Forest department to repair the solar fencing has led to the damage to the crops. “We have requested the department officials to repair the fencing many times. But they didn’t bother to do so. Now how we will recover the crops”, asked Golak.

However, the officials said steps are being taken to repair some portions of fencing.

“We have intimated the government and very soon work will start to repair the fencing”, said Ratnakar Das, Ranger, Khuntuni.