Nakronda village facing tough time due to elephants’ invasion (India)


Seema Sharma|, Times of India

Date Published

DEHRADUN: Regular encroachment by elephants in the farming fields of Nakrondavillage near Dehradun has made life difficult for the people of the village. They have demanded solar fencing to prevent entry of elephants for which the forest department has sought some Rs 42 lakh budget from the state government. However the forest officials consider the blockage of corridors for elephants from various sides responsible for the pachyderms to seek outlets in fields and getting accustomed to the crop feeding.

Gram Pradhan of Nakronda , Rahul Panwar said, “It is for last two years Nakronda and nearby areas such as Balawala, Nathuwala, Bhaniawala are facing the elephant onslaught after sun-set. We are unable to sit on machans to safeguard our fields. However for two months of April and May when there is no crop , the elephants also do not turn this side.”

Despite the trouble, the villagers have not lost concern for the animal. “It is quite obviously that the elephants are coming for easy food in the fields, as we humans have taken over their food and living area. So we will have to face the consequences,” he said.

He said, never ever the elephants have injured or killed any human in the area. “We force the elephants to leave the fields by beating plates, bursting crackers or lighting torches every time. Though they never harmed any human, they have broken walls and shutter of the shops and ate away grains. Around 16 villagers have got compensation, while almost the same number of people are still waiting for it,” he said.

Divisional forest official of Dehradun , PK Patro is of the view that all around development activities have blocked the pathways for the elephants to they move from one forest to another. “People have done constructions all over outside the forest. The Dehradun-Haridwar highway has been widened which has amplified the traffic volume on the road, so elephants can no longer cross it. Earlier they used to walk from Dehradun to Thano to reach Rajaji Tiger Reserve. But after the Jollygrant airport and related infrastructure came up there, that route has also got blocked, so the elephants are stuck from all sides,” he said.

He further added that despite abundance of water and vegetation in the forest during monsoon season, the elephants are still going to the fields which shows that they have accustomed to the crop feeding,.

He said, if fencing is provided in Nakronda village then the elephants would move towards other villages, so the problem is not easily going to fade away. However he said the fencing would be provided to the villagers, which they would have to maintain on their own.