Krishnagiri: A herd of five elephants damaged crops near Beerpalli in Soolagiri block in Krishnagiri early Monday morning.
According to farmers, five jumbos trampled cultivation damaging tomatoes, mango and banana trees in agricultural fields that spread across five acres. "We are facing a loss of nearly 5 lakh after the elephant rampage," said Balu Mahendran, 40, a farmer from Beerpalli village. He also said that human-elephant conflict has intensified in this area after two months. "We had a temporary reprieve for two months with no elephant rampage witnessed around these areas. But today we have to shoulder a heavy loss," he lamented.
Over 500 banana trees and one and half acres of tomatoes were damaged in Monday's rampage. According to him, the elephant herd came from Kuppam Reserve Forest in Andhra Pradesh through Maharajakadai forest area in Krishnagiri district.
Similarly, the elephants damaged another farmer K Nanjundan's 20 coconut trees, mango plants and even their water pipe lines which laid for drip irrigation purposes. Meanwhile, the affected farmers were demanding the state government and also the forest department to take stern action to chase jumbos into deep reserve forest.
"Recently, a herd of 60 elephants including nine calves, entered Tamil Nadu from Karnataka and damaged crops in agricultural fields spread across hundreds of acres in many villages. At that time, each farmers faced a loss of Rs10 lakh," said MR Sivasami, state president of Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam. He further said that human-elephant conflict has intensified near Shoolagiri, Denkanikottai and Anchetty Reserve Forests as there have been more than 200 raids in the last three months.