Jamshedpur, April 11: A herd of wild elephants is rampaging villages in Ichagarh under Chandil forest range of the Seraikela-Kharwasan district from the past four days.
Comprising four elephants, the herd is destroying houses and eating up the stock of paddy in the villages in the night since the past four days. As a result of the elephant menace coupled with the fear of coronavirus, the villagers are stuck in a situation difficult to deal with.
Half-a-dozen other villagers have also suffered huge loss as the herd of elephants ate up the paddy stock beside damaging.
�The incident has forced us to spend sleepless nights. Our lives are at risk due to rampaging elephants. Elephants regularly venture into villages, destroy houses, damage standing crops and even trample people to death. We are forced to work like a �night guard� to save our lies and crops� said a villager.He said that rampaging elephants are a cause of concern. Some measures have been adopted and there is need to do more to protect the people. The farmers have also asked the nearest range office in case of crop raiding so that special teams will be deputed to drive the elephants into the deep jungle.
There is a probability that the pachyderms may move inside Dalma sanctuary, which is awaiting return of elephants from the jungles of Bankura and West Midnapore in Bengal, and create a conflict situation. The Dalma elephants are presently in the fringes and may return any day.
As per forest department rules, compensation of Rs 10,000 is paid for partiualy damaged house, rs 20,000 to 40,000 for considerable damage and Rs 1.4 lakh for completely damaged house.
The forest department officials said that the elephants are fond of paddy. When they move in their migratory path they stomach the standing crops by grazing the paddy fields. On their return they target the harvested crops kept inside the house.
“It is a tragic incident. Though we can not stop the elephants from migrating from one jungle to another, but can safeguard the villages from the tuskers’ attack on the villages as well as the paddy fields, we have set up separate teams for tuskers- driving wherever the chances of the menace is maximum,” the forest official said.
He said that rampaging elephants are a cause of concern. Some measures have been adopted and there is need to do more to protect the people.