Balasore: Villagers living in the periphery of Nilagiri forest range in Balasore district heaved a sigh of relief after forest personnel finally managed to drive away the herds of elephants from the forest area Saturday morning.
Police officials, villagers and Revenue staff assisted the forest officials to drive away the jumbo herds from Budusahi forest in Tinikosia to Jadibadi forest by beating the drums and bursting firecrackers.
The elephants from the neighbouring Jharkhand had triggered panic in Nilagiri after wreaking havoc since November 13. During their stay, the wild pachyderms damaged acres of stading crops and houses in the nearby villages.
Speaking to media, Sukumar Das, Nilagiri Forest Ranger said efforts are on to push the herds to Mayurbhanj Forest Division through Patana, Kathapala, Pundala and Durgadevi via Gopalpur Forest Range.
Stating that a total of 56 elephants have left the Nilagiri forest, he said the Forest department will provide compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre to each affected farmer towards the damage rendered by the large mammals within a week after receiving the inquiry report from the forest guards and the Revenue officials on the extent of the crop loss.