Elephant menace in Karanjia area in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj, Details, watch

Karanjia: Elephant menace in Karanjia area in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha has become a matter of concern over the last few years. It has been seen that herds of wild elephants have often ventured to this forest division and damaged crops and destroyed houses. Even there are many cases of elephant attacks. A few people have also been killed after being trampled by elephants. Here is a brief report in this matter.

Elephant herds have raised concerns in Karanjia sub-division of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. The elephants are reportedly destroying crops as well as houses. Even there are cases of elephants trampling humans. Why are the elephants venturing to human habitats so often in this area? It is not only the local people who are harmed by the elephants but even the state government is also suffering financial losses.

Reportedly, people in the Karanjia area of Mayurbhanj are spending sleepless nights due to fear of elephants. A herd of elephants may come at any time and destroy the houses. Even the pachyderm can kill you. The fear is even more deadly in the night. Anything can happen at any time in the night. Such is the situation in Karanjia Forest Division area of Mayurbhanj district. And the locals of this area are living fearful days amid these speculations.

Many times in a year elephant herds come to Karanjia from the Keonjhar and Jharkhand sides.

The Karanjia Sub Division is spread over 5 blocks and one N.A.C. And rampage by elephants have been felt in about 9 months in a year. The wild elephants are seen wreaking havoc mostly in the Rarua, Shukruli and Karanjia blocks. The Thakurmunda and Jashipur blocks are often visited by elephants from Shimilipal.

Most of the villages in of Mayurbhanj district have abundant water bodies and forest area which make the elephants to live in this area easily. The elephants stay in the forest during the day time. In the evening, they break into the villages and eat paddy, rice and destroy household goods.

In the Karanjia sub-division, the Dudhiani and Karanjia Forest ranges are frequently visited by elephants. Sometimes the tuskers destroy crops and sometimes trample humans. Often such cases are reported from Karanjia area.

Again, people crowd places where elephant herds are seen. However, the locals do not sleep at night in the area where elephants are present. The locals use to guard by setting fire in front of their houses. Even so, the forest department staff are also being attacked by elephants. It seems rampage by elephants has become a routine occurrence in Karanjia sub-division.

As per reports, in the year 2017-18, as many as 5 people were killed in elephant attacks. And the government paid compensation of Rs 1 lakh 24 thousand for the destruction of 42 houses. Similarly, 22 lakh 61 thousand rupees have been spent on crop damage. One person was killed in an elephant attack in 2018-19. The elephant herds destroyed 49 houses in this year. The forest department paid Rs. 1 lakh 46 thousand towards house damage. An average of 1 crore 4 lakh 91 thousand 240 rupees was spent on crop damage.

In 2019-20, one person was killed and 116 people’s houses were destroyed in elephant attacks. And 5 lakh 12 thousand rupees was paid towards compensation. The government has spent an average of Rs. 86 lakh 14 thousand 783 for crop damage.

In 2020-21, more than one crore rupees were spent to compensate elephant attacks and damages.

Similarly, in 2022-23, the average amount of crop damage compensation is 1 crore 112 lakh 47 thousand 800 rupees. Rs 4 lakh 20 thousand rupees have been paid towards house destruction, 15 thousand rupees for tiger attack, 1 lakh 45 thousand rupees for bear attack while 5 lakh 20 thousand rupees have been given away for elephant attacks.

Within 3 months, an amount of 7 lakh 20 thousand rupees were given while Rs 64 thousand 764 rupees given for house destruction.

The government has made arrangements to provide monetary compensation if the elephant herd damages house or crop. The Tahsildar or the Tahsildar’s staff investigate and report to the forest department for house demolition and the monetary assistance is sanctioned.

In case of damage to paddy or vegetables, the forest department itself investigates and provide the compensation amount. The compensation for damage of paddy crop by elephants has been fixed at Rs 20,000 per acre. And in case of vegetables the compensation amount is Rs 25 thousand per acre.

Besides, the forest department provides Rs 10,000 if a person is partially injured in an elephant attack, Rs 2,50,000 if a limb is completely damaged. The ex gratia for death by elephant attack is Rs 6 lakh. Similarly, for partial damage of house 10 thousand compensation is provided while for destruction of a complete house, the compensation is Rs 20 thousand and a Biju Pucca house is provided to the victim.

Getting oppressed by the elephants, the villagers have protested many times. There are times when vehicles are stuck on both sides of road for hours due to the road blockade. People are forced to block the roads as the elephants frequently harm the them.

Elephant herds enter into Karanjia Forest division either from the Keonjhar district side and or from Jharkhand. The forest department is trying to protect people by electrifying solar poles in some villages of Karanjia and Dudhiani forest ranges.

Jhumkapal village of Rarua block on the border of Odisha and Jharkhand has been fenced with solar wire poles. If the elephant is trapped here, neither the elephants nor humans will be harmed.

A 1.5 km long solar wire pole has been installed in the Jhumkapal village. It uses 75 poles, 3 solar panels, 2 batteries and 2 machines.

Similarly, half a kilometer in the Puruna Degaon, one kilometer in Shirmanipur village, one kilometer in Dumuria village and 1.5 kilometer in Unria village have been protected by solar wiring.

Rs 2 lakh 56 thousand per kilometer is spent on solar fence. An average of 9 lakh 51 thousand rupees have been spent for hanging wire solar poles.

According to latest reports, as many as 23 elephants are roaming in the Dudhiani forest range of Karanjia sub-division. Similarly, 11 elephants are roaming in the Satakosia forest range area.

Also read: Mother Bird Sacrifices Own Life To Save Her Babies From Snake, Watch

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