Berhampur, Jan 9 (LocalWire): Villagers of Surala and its neighbouring areas in Ganjam district sought the forest department intervention to drive away a herd of wild elephants that has been plundering their harvested paddy and vegetable crops since the last two days.
The herd camped in Tamana area under Digapahandi forest range, about 15-km from here on Thursday, officials said.
Villagers said the elephants generally raid the villages near Tamana but for the first time, they migrated to the Surala hill areas and destroyed the crops.
Earlier wild boars had destroyed the standing paddy crops and now the elephants ate up the paddy stocked in the fields ready to be sold to procurement centres in different villages near Surala, Sumandai and its adjoining areas, said former Zilla Parishad member S.Damburu Reddy.
Forest officials are on their toes to check the movement of the herd, including two calves. Elephant tracking squad and mobile squad, comprising around 30 personnel are watching their movements, said divisional forest officer (DFO) Berhampur Amlan Nayak.
‘Since the herd is near the railway junction at Surala, we have alerted the railway authorities in Khurda Road to allow trains to pass at a speed of 30 kms per hour through Surala,’ he said.