Kendrapara, Nov 25 (LocalWire): Villagers living near the Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district have recently constructed machans to save their crops from spotted deer and wild boars during the harvesting season.
‘We are facing serious threat from wild boars and spotted deer they destroy ripe paddy during the harvesting season. We are, therefore, spending nights on machans built in the paddy fields,’ said Sarat Mandal of Rangani village.
Farmers of Dangamala, Iswarapur, Gupti, Talachua, Rangani , Sundaripala, Praharajpur , Kharinashi, Ramanagar , Suniti, Baulakani are facing the same problem.
‘Animals damaged paddy in my two-acre land. We are witnessing the problem since a decade and urged the forest officials to put fence around the park to prevent the animals from straying to the fields but they did not pay any heed,’ said Mahesh Mandal a farmer of Sailendranagar village.
‘We also submitted a memorandum to the forest department as we are afraid to move alone fearing wild boar attack. Farmers should be compensated for the loss incurred due to animal menace,’ alleged Pradip Das of Dangamala village.
‘We try to drive away the animals by beating drums, blasting crackers and lighting fire while sitting on the machans braving the cold,’ said Arabinda Manna, a farmer of Kansarabadadandua.
‘A team of forest staff have been deployed in the villages to drive away the animals. After assessing the crop loss, we will compensate the affected farmers,’ said the divisional forest officer (DFO) of the park, Bikash Ranjan Das.