Odapada: Elephants have been on a rampage in Meramandali section under Odapada block of Dhenkanal district. Farmers have been spending sleepless nights for days together.
According to the villagers, the elephants have strayed into the area after crossing the Brahmani River and have also reportedly damaged several houses in Suravi, Bidha, Taladanga and Ranjasinha area. Poor tribals have been living amid fear of attack from elephants.
They demanded immediate steps for assessment of the crop damage. The villagers alleged that though they have apprised the forest officials of the menace, the latter have not taken any step. The victims demanded immediate assessment of the crop damage.
The poor tribals living in the area have drawn the attention of the forest officials towards the elephant menace. As the menace continues, some tribals have set up treetop houses near their farmlands to keep away the animals from damaging crops. But this strategy is not always successful.
On being informed, the forest officials rushed to the village and launched an operation to drive away the jumbos into the wild and have been entrusted with the responsibility of reducing man-animal conflicts by creating awareness among people to be friendly towards wildlife.