Elephant herd sparks panic in Nilagiri; forest officials on standby

Balasore: The residents of Tinikosia area under Nilagiri block of the district are now in panic after an elephant herd from Jharkhand caused massive destruction to standing crops in the region. It is now almost for the past five days that nearly 58 elephants are camping in the region.

Though the villagers along with forest department personnel officials are trying to drive away the jumbos from the human settlement by using fire crackers and flash lights, it has failed to yield results.

“We are having a harrowing time as the elephants are straying into the villages and destroying houses. We have to remain alert throughout the night,” said a villager.

Meanwhile, the farmers have demanded adequate compensation crop damage caused by the elephants. In a bid to save the existing crops, the farmers are harvesting rice and other crops much in advance.

“The administration should make proper assessment of the crop damage and provide compensate the farmers. They should also make proper arrangements for the safe movement of the jumbos,” demanded another villager.

On the other hand, the forest department officials claimed that adequate steps are being taken to drive away the jumbos from human settlement. The administration has deployed one platoon of police force in the region.

“We are continuously keeping a track on the movement of the elephants. The forest officials from different ranges have been deployed in the region and with the help of the villagers the elephants will be driven away to the forest,” said Biswaraj Panda, an official of Balasore forest division.