S’Garh Forest Officials Helpless in Checking Marauding Jumbos (Sundargarh District, India)


Malay Ray, Daily Pioneer

Date Published

Man-mammal  conflicts  are  on the rise  in  Sundargarh district  and  forest  officials  in  Sundargarh  district have failed  to  check  the elephant  entry  into  human  habitation. Forest  officials  are   busy  in  estimating  compensation  amount to  be  provided  to  the  persons whose  houses  and  crops  are damaged  by  the  elephants.  They are  also estimating  compensation  for  the  person  who  lost lives  in elephant  attack.

About 172  elephants  are  available in  different  parts  of Sundargarh  district and  have  been  causing  headache. Experts are roped in the drive-away operation.  Chili powder and solar fencing are not yielding the desired result.

The department is giving  Rs  3  lakh per  person  towards compensation due  to  death  in  elephant  attack,  Rs 75,000 for grave injury, Rs 5,000 for partial injury, Rs 10,000 per  acre of crop damage, Rs 12,000 per  acre  of vegetable  damage,  Rs 10,000 for complete  house damage  and  Rs  2,000 for partial damage.

According  to  sources,   about  69  elephants  have  been  camping in  different  areas  in  Rourkela  forest  division. 

As many as 42 elephants  are  moving  in  Banki  forest  range, 17  elephants  are moving  in  Bisra  forest  range  and  10  elephants  are moving  in Kuanmunda  forest  range. A  herd  of elephants   damaged  as  many as  20   houses  recently at  Barghat  village  and Padmapur  village and  also  damaged  crops  under  Banki  forest  range.

Significantly, an  elephant  herd  in  Kuanrmunda  range has  been creating  panic  among  locals  there  and   three  persons were trampled to  death in July  this  year.

Similarly,  under  Bonei  forest  division,  43  jumbos  are  moving in  different  areas  and  have  created  panic  among  villagers.

There  are  elephant  herds  in  different  groups  under  Bonei forest  division.

A  four- member  elephant  herd  is in  Koira range, another four- member  herd in Barsuan range, a five- member herd  in  Jarda  range, an 18-member  herd  in  Sol  range  and an 11-member  elephant  herd  in  Tamra  range.

One  elephant  under Kuliposh  range,  which  has  become  sick, is  now  getting treatment.

In  Sundargarh  forest  division,  60  elephants  are  roaming  in different  areas .  In   Hemgiri  forest  range,  an  18- member elephant  herd had  recently entered  into  Hemgiri  area  and damaged  five  houses  and   crops.  In  Bargaon  forest  range,  14 elephants   are  creating panic.  In  Ujalpur range,  eight elephants  are  on rampage  and  in  Sadar  forest  range,  20 elephants  are  moving .Recently, an 18- member  elephant  herd  had entered  into  Hemgiri  village  in  Hemgiri  forest  range  and damaged  five  houses and  corps  in  that  area.

The  locals  had staged a protest  in  front  of  Hemgiri  forest  range  office demanding a  permanent  solution.

On  Thursday  night last,  the   18- member  herd  again  entered into  Jareikela  and  Khunteipani  villages  under  Hemgiri  forest rage  and damaged  about  15  acres of  crops. The Sundargarh  forest division  reportedly called  an  eight-member  group from  Jharkhand recently to  drive  away  the elephant  herd.

An elephant  was killed  in  the  month of  July  after  coming under a train in  Hemgiri  range  while  she  was  crossing the railway  track along with  other  elephants. Sundargarh  forest officials    are  simply  keeping  a watch  on  the  movement  on  the  elephant  herds without any significant success to chase them away.