Khurda: Wild animals from Chandaka forest are a big threat to paddy and vegetable cultivation in several villages in the district here.
Elephants, boars and monkeys from Chandaka have been invading agricultural fields in at least 50 villages under Khurda, Tangi and Delang ranges for the last several years.
According to villagers, elephant herds from Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary usually enter agricultural fields at night and destroy paddy and other crops. The pachyderms invade farmhouses and granaries in the locality and eat stored paddy and other food material.
The Forest department had earlier dug a trench around the sanctuary to prevent elephants from entering the villages. However, the trench has suffered extensive damage in recent years due to poor maintenance.
“Shortage of food and water at the forest has forced elephants to enter human settlements. The forest department has failed to solve the issue despite repeated complaints,” said a villager.
Wild boars from Chandaka forest have become a bane for farmers of Madhupur, Arang, Kumarbast, Kissannagar and Niali villages. “Farmers of these villages suffer huge crop loss due to wild animal attack on their farmlands. The Forest department has not taken any step to compensate the poor farmers,” alleged another villager.
When contacted, Khurda divisional forest officer (DFO) Manoj Mahapatra said they provide compensation to aggrieved farmers after verifying their crop losses due to wild animal attack.
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