Odisha MLA walks 7 km to see destruction caused by elephant raids from Jharkhand
- The MLA said she walked on the request of the villagers, who were aggrieved over the elephant herd trampling vegetable plantations and paddy fields. The herd of elephants had also damaged a local temple.
A Biju Janata Dal MLA walked for about 7 km with at least 200 local villagers in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district to see the destruction caused by a herd of 24 elephants from Jharkhand for a better appreciation of the villagers’ plight.
Karanjia MLA Basanti Hembram was on her way to the district headquarter town of Baripada Friday morning, when over 200 people from 4-5 villages of Biunria, Nakudmata, Kunjia and Tato stopped her vehicle. The villagers, since morning, had laid a siege to NH 200 connecting Ranchi to Vijaywada at Tato chhak, demanding compensation for the damages to their paddy fields as well as houses, caused by elephant depredation.
"We have been protesting against elephant depredation caused over the last 4-5 months and (we) surrounded the local forest range office at Dudhiani, demanding an end to elephant menace as well as immediate compensation. But nothing happened. When we saw the MLA passing by, we asked her to see our difficulties first-hand. Luckily, she agreed to go with us," said Namita Naik, a villager.
The MLA then walked with the villagers to Kadamuda village, a distance of about 7 km to see the destruction caused by the elephant herd from Jharkhand.
"No one forced me to walk to the village. When I saw the protesting villagers, I got down from my vehicle to listen to their grievances. Their grievances are genuine. The forest department officials should have been a little more responsive to their demands," said Hembram.
The MLA said the villagers were aggrieved over the elephant herd trampling vegetable plantations as well as paddy fields. The herd of elephants had also damaged a local temple. "I discussed with the local forest officials on how to drive away the herd tonight so that the villagers can be saved. I have also taken up the matter with the local forest officials for speedy compensation," she said.
With elephant corridors getting squeezed due to mining and rapid industrialisation, man-elephant conflicts have gone up sharply in Odisha over the last 3-4 years with more and more elephants straying to human habitations for food, resulting in casualties on both sides.
In 2020-21, at least 52 elephants have died in human-elephant conflicts while 83 people have been trampled to death by elephant herds.
In Sambalpur district, a female elephant, aged about 12 years, was electrocuted in a forest in Jujumura area on Friday after coming in contact with a live 11kv transmission line. Sambalpur DFO said a tree, believed to have been broken by another elephant, sagged the transmission line, which touched the elephant's trunk.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- On October 29 last year, the top court had stayed a direction passed on October 20 by the Delhi High Court directing 2,318 undertrial prisoners to surrender in a phased manner.
- Deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, accused the party’s Bengal president and Lok Sabha member Adhir Ranjan Chowdury of diluting the party’s core ideology and the secularism by allying with Abbasuddin Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front (ISF).
- This will be the first of the many public meetings Adityanath is scheduled to address in Bengal where the BJP is looking to unseat the led TMC.
- "Toll collection through electronic tolling has reached 93 per cent during the last fortnight after the FASTag was made mandatory," Gadkari said.
- The senior citizen said he would return on Tuesday with his wife on Tuesday o she could be administered her vaccine.