Jagatsinghpur, March 26 (LocalWire): Forest officials and representatives from nearly half a dozen villages on Tuesday discussed compensation and mitigation measures for crop loss in animal raids.
Villages like Ramchandrapur, Gopalpur, Kakudia, Salijanga, Pitamabarpur and Puranabasnt have witnessed frequent crop raids by deer and other ungulates, resulting in huge financial losses to farmers.
The expansive Dhartangada forest that straddles the villages in Raghunathpur block is home to hundreds of deer. Due to limited food supply in forest, the animals raid paddy and vegetable crops on the margins.
However, they need to cross a treacherous journey to reach the fields. The Paradip-Cuttack rail line, that borders their forest home, regularly saw animals being mowed down by speeding trains.
In February alone, four deer were fatally hit by goods train at Salijanga.
In another such incident last Saturday, a deer was killed in a train hit in the same area.
The villagers, though, say that the animals have been giving them sleepless nights due to crop raids.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protesting villagers led by an NGO demonstrated outside the forest office in Dhartangada, demanding compensation for crop loss and barbed wire fencing for crop protection.
They later called off their stir after the forest department promised them adequate compensation for crop loss. The department had earlier disbursed around Rs.2 lakh as compensation for crop damage.