Jamshedpur, Nov 24: It’s the beginning of the harvest season and so is the elephant menace. At several parts of Kolhan, especially Seraikela Kharsawan, paddy crops were destroyed by herds of tuskers that have begun their annual migration through the villages. The elephant herds destroying crops has become a cause of worry for the villagers.
Concerned over the spate of elephant menace during the past couple of days, the forest department officials in cooperation of the villagers have set up teams for driving away the elephants at the villages which are prone to be invaded by the migratory herds.
Revealing about the elephant menace in West Singhbhum, a forest officer said that as many as five herds of tuskers are going on a rampage at the villages in Jeraikela and Porhat under Saranda region, and also in the villages under Hatgamharia block in Chaibasa since the past couple of days.
The officer said that two herds comprising about 15 elephants each, have damaged the standing paddy crops in as many as five villages in Jeraikela by going on a rampage.
“While destroying the crops, the wild tuskers have also inflicted grievous injury to one of the villagers, who wanted to drive the animals by bursting crackers,” said the officer. He further revealed that at Porhat forest division also a herd of tuskers sneaked into the Rangenbera village and destroyed the paddy crops while trying to stomach the standing crops.
He said that at Gindun village under Manoharpur range in Saranda, the wild elephants destroyed the paddy crops which were ready for the harvesting. He said a herd of tuskers had strayed into a village under Hatgamharia block in West Singhbhum and destroyed the paddy crop and also partially damaged two houses.
“As we cannot 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. But as this time, the paddy crops have been done in fewer numbers, the tuskers are left with no option than to graze whatever field they find on their way of migration,” the officer said.
Similar tusker menace was also reported from the villages falling under Ghatshila sub-division. An official revealed that about five herds of elephants have left Dalma hills toward West Midnapore treading through the villages under Ghatshila sub-division. “We have got the reports that the migrating elephants have destroyed paddy crops at a number of villages between Dalma and Bengal border, but as of now no casualty has been reported so far,” said the forest official.