Joda: Elephants went on a destruction spree at Inganijharn in Joda block of Keonjhar district Monday night amid allegations that the forest dwellers affected by jumbo menace have been deprived of compensation for several years as they do not have land pattas.
The pachyderms reportedly destroyed three houses and devoured rice and paddy stocked in them.
According to reports, a herd of elephants damaged houses of Tulasi Nayak, Prafulla Nayak and Harihar Mohant and feasted on 70-kg rice.
“The elephants sneaked their trunks through the holes of the mud-baked walls of the houses around 1 pm. I and others came out of the house and saved our lives,” said Prafulla Nayak recounting the horror.
Some villagers alleged the animals have been frequently visiting the village at night and damaging properties over the years, but they have not received any compensation from the forest department so far.
The villagers said they had taken up the issue with Champua forest range officials, but the ranger asked them to produce proof of ownership over their land and houses.
Ranger Ghasinath Patra said if people do not have their land pattas, the tehsildar has the authority to approve compensation for loss of their.
However, the villagers accused the tehsildar of not signing their applications.
“If applications are not approved by the tehsildar, they can’t get compensation,” the ranger made it clear.