Human elephant conflict in Angul district of Odisha, watch

The death toll of elephant attacks in Angul is increasing. Since January this year, as many as 16 people have died while more than 20 people have sustained injury

Angul: Human elephant conflict has reached an extreme stage in the Angul district of Odisha. In man elephant conflict, the jumbos are not only trampling humans, even by this they are also snatching away people’s livelihoods. In Angul district, a number of people have been killed in elephant attack in the last few years for mangoes and jack fruits. A brief report from Angul.

In these days a herd of elephants are creating fear in the Bantala forest area of this district. As many as 16 people have been killed here in the last 6 months. Being upset with this, the locals have raised question that when the Forest Department will be active to come up with a solution in this regard. People have asked whether the Forest Department has failed to protect people from elephant attacks. Besides, the demand for increasing the amount of ex gratia in case of death due to elephant attack is rising.

This year, there was an abundance of mangoes. Hence, people were going to the forest for mangoes. However, the herds of elephants were also heading to the forest in search of mangoes. In this way, many people have been killed after coming across elephants in the jungle and then getting trampled by the pachyderms.

The death toll of elephant attacks in Angul is increasing. Since January this year, as many as 16 people have died while more than 20 people have sustained injury. The number of elephant attacks is also increasing in the area around Satakoshia.

The local residents have accused the forest department of failing to track and trace elephants. They have warned of agitation in the coming days.

In the last 5 years, this district has seen death of 55 elephants and 70 humans. Due to deforestation, elephants are now venturing into the human habitats, to the villages and towns.

Extensive deforestation is a major cause of elephant-human conflict. Elephants come to the village in search of food due to deforestation. And it escalates the cases of man elephant fight as people to resist the elephants to protect their homes and crops.

Following the Covid pandemic days when people are trying to make up their loss by adopting different ways, now elephant herds have become the problem.

As many as 45 herds of elephants reportedly destroyed the harvest of 2021 that had been harvested to make up for the loss of 2020. Wild elephants are roaming around the villages of Pokatunga, Pabla, Jagannathpur, Gard Taras, Nuakheta, Khinda, Sana Kantakula etc.

People are unable to go to the farm land due to the fear of elephants. Life and livelihood is over due to elephants. Elephants are invading the village and killing people and this has stood as a constant danger.

As per reports, these days 20 elephants are roaming in Bantala forest area. Meanwhile, new measures are being taken to prevent elephant attack. According to an arrangement made at the entrance of the village, the sound of the humming of the bees will be heard once an elephant steps here.

A pilot project on state-of-the-art technology is under process to check human elephant conflict. Meanwhile, success of this pilot project has also been questioned after failure of the Bana Sathi App.

Elephant attacks have cropped up as a big challenge for the common people to tackle. The man-elephant fight in Angul district has been an uninterrupted pain for the last three decades.

It has been complained that the forest department is protecting the elephants but the forest officials are not driving them out.

In Human elephant conflict in Angul, sometimes the elephant dies while at some other time the human dies. Innocent elephant lives are lost due to accidental causes like train collision or electrocution. Who is responsible for this?

It is true that billions of rupees are being spent on elephant protection, but the big question is how far it is being implemented?

On the other hand, people have been protesting by burning tyres on the road to protect people from elephants. They have complained that the forest department is not working to protect humans from elephants.

Common people are facing many problems due to man-elephant conflict in Bantala of Angul district. Along with the loss of property, there is also loss of life.

The Chief Minister has sanctioned Rs 4.65 crore to prevent man-elephant conflict. Accordingly, the necessary infrastructure will be built in 43 villages of Bantala through this fund by the DFO. This will keep both elephants and humans safe.

The locals have complained that there is no proper investigation of the elephant death incident. Hence, the number of deaths is increasing. The forest department is not taking enough steps to protect the elephants. Emphasis is given on improving tourism but very less is being done to protect wildlife.

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