Elephants enter human settlements, damage houses in Odisha

Baripada: Palpable tension prevailed at Badampur village under Rasagovindpur police limits in Mayurbhanj district today after locals staged a road blockade over frequent intrusion of wild elephants and extensive damage to crop and property by the pachyderms in the area.

Locals alleged that the forest department has been lackadaisical in taking concrete steps to  drive away the elephants.

Reports claimed that there are around 60 elephants moving in the Kusudiha forest under Betnoti range of the district since past few days. A herd of elephants strayed into the village and destroyed as many as 6 houses yesterday.

“Herds of elephants straying into human habitations and damaging crops and property has become a routine affair in the locality. However, the forest department had turned a blind eye to our concerns,” said a local resident.

In another instance, residents in Bonai area of Sundergarh district are also a worried lot over persistent elephant threat in the region.

Elephants have reportedly been seen moving nearby several areas like Kel, Gadposh, Nuadihi, Bhangadihi, Khutagaon of Bonai sub-division and occasionally   venturing into human settlements causing loss of property and crops.

The forest department has been trying to drive away the pachyderms into the core forest, sources said.