Gadchiroli Sept. 8 (District Correspondent) After roaming in the north Gadchiroli areas for the last many days and causing loss to the standing crops and houses, the herd of elephants is now moving towards neighboring Gondiya district. The herd consisting as many as 23 elephants, including a one-month-old baby was last seen in Pimpalgaon FDCM compartment number 123 under Wadsa Range, according to Mr. Dharmaveer Salvitthal, Dy. Conservator of Forest, Wadsa Division.
The elephants have been moving through the paddy fields especially during the night times that has caused the damage to paddy crops in several hectares of land and have damaged the crops also. However, there are no reports of any loss of human life because of the Jumbos all these days.
The elephants keep on moving from one place to another. They are not in the habit of staying at a particular place. Now they are marching towards Gondiya but may come back to Wadsa area anytime. The animals may be attracted towards the paddy crop once its flowering season starts in the coming days. However, nothing can be predicted exactly, told Mr. Salvitthal.
There are more than more than 4,000 elephants in the different states of the country. In Maharashtra however, there are only 30, out of which 23 are moving in Gadchiroli and the remaining 7 are in Kolhapur and Sindhudurg district. One tusker is roaming in Saoli area of Chandrapur district which had crossed over there from Gadchiroli a few days back, informed the officer while talking to this correspondent. The jumbos may also go back to Chhattisgarh from where they had entered the borders of the district, he added.
The forest department has already distributed the compensation of Rs. 40 lakhs to the farmers and the residents whose crops and houses were damaged by the elephants. Some cases of compensation have remained pending and the process is going on, told Mr. Salvitthal further.
The forest department has no any permanent solution over the elephant’s issue. What we can do is divert them to the forest areas and see to it that they do not enter the human habitat and no damage is caused to the crops or the property, told Mr. Salvitthal.
The elephants had damaged the crops in more than 50 acres of land from some villages in Kurkheda taluka in the last two days thereby spreading a panic among the farmers. The farmers in the area have demanded compensation of Rs. 60,000 per acre.
The elephant menace has been haunting the district for the last two years. After roaming for a few days, the wild animals had returned to Chhattisgarh to the relief of the people here but again staged their comeback. After facing the tiger attacks, the district had to witness the new problem which was something surprising and equally troublesome to them.
Photo The paddy crop damaged by the elephants seen.