Pachyderms destroy paddy crops

Laikera: Crop losses due to natural calamities like drought and floods is common knowledge in the state. But the latest addition to the causes is the intervention by wildlife predators. A herd of elephants numbering over 50 have been creating havoc in village Bhoidihi under Laikera block in Jharsuguda district and have destroyed paddy on several acres of land thus aggravating trouble for the farmers.

The farmers of Bhoidihi village, mainly an agrarian village, had grown paddy on their fields and hoped that the yield would fetch some capital apart from helping sustain life for another season at least. But thanks to the wild intruders, their dream stands shattered. The herd of pachyderms came like bad omen while the farmers were waiting eagerly to collect crops at the final stage. Said Biranchi Kissan, a farmer,"We are helpless now. The elephants have destroyed our paddy crops and we do not know what to eat for the entire year. The government must help us now".

The pachyderms have come to the village from nearby forests. However, the forest department personnel have so far not taken any measures to drive away the elephants to their natural habitat. Apart from destroying paddy, the wild unwanted guests have turned the fields almost unarable thus adding further trouble for the farmers. No compensation has so far reached the farmers neither from the administration nor from the forest department. The local tehsildar however has assured that all sorts of official assistance would be provided to the farmers who have lost paddy crops.