Keonjhar: Several villagers of tribal dominated Kusumita village under Sadar range in Keonjhar district are living in makeshift shades atop trees to escape elephant attack.
According to reports, the villagers – mostly financially backward Bhuyan Tribals – earn their living from agriculture and forest produces. However, the elephant menace in the area has meant that they are neither able to venture into the jungle not are able to harvest what they sow.
Villagers have complained that more than 20 houses in the village have been damaged by elephants so far. Besides, as many as 50 houses in nearby Shankari village have been damaged in past two months owing to elephant attacks. Besides, four denizens have lost their lives in the attack. Villagers there have been living on top of the local school building by erecting a makeshift tent, local residents said.
While government data suggests presence of about 150 elephants in the district, as many as 30 of them roam around the village area. The pachyderms often damage the houses and crops in the area leading to resentment among locals.