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Manjula Basavaraj, a member of the Neriga Gram Panchayat (falling under the Anekal Taluk), told Deccan Chronicle, “For the past ten days, the three elephants have been roaming freely in Hoskote and Anekal regions causing extensive damage to crops. They have raided banana plantations and sugar fields, leading to damage that is expected to cross Rs 50 lakh in our area.”
“While efforts are on by forest officials in Hoskote and Anekal, we are yet to see any improvement. When forest officials in the Hoskote range chase the elephants, they enter the Anekal limits and when officials in the Anekal range initiate any action, they go back to Hoskote,” said Manjula, who added that joint efforts should be made to send these elephants back to Krishnagiri forest.
When DC asked villagers about these wild elephants, Nagaraj Gowda, a resident of Muthasandra said, “Sewage flowing from the Varthur Valley crosses Muthasandra, Bellikere and Mugaluru. It finally enters Bagalur at Hosur in Tamil Nadu. Farmers use this sewage water for agricultural activities, for the cultivation of maize and different kinds of vegetables. Along the lengthy stretch of the sewage valley, there is rich natural vegetation that attracts wild animals including elephants.”
When DC contacted the Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests C Jayaram, he said, “Elephants always move in herds and when tuskers stray from their herd, they get lost. These elephants may have missed their route and entered Karnataka. Operations are on to relocate them back to the forest, where they belong.”