By K. Srinivasa Rao
A herd of elephants destroyed paddy and banana crops in Mohan Colony and Mukundapuram village of Seethampet mandal on Friday, causing huge loss to the farmers. The district forest officials rushed to the village and drove the elephants back to forest area. A group of four elephants damaged crops in Garlapadu and Padali Panchayats of Hiramandalm recently.
The animals killed one villager named Murali in Padali area of Hiramandalam region six months ago. The elephants entered Andhra region from Lakheri forest of Odisha seven years ago. They did not go back to their native forest area due to availability of abundant water and food in Palakonda region. The government announced ‘Operation Gaja’ following uproar from locals over the frequent attacks and devastation of agriculture fields. . A trench was proposed but its construction was stopped due to non availability of funds.
“The revenue department should make villagers not to grow banana and sugarcane in adjacent areas of forest. Otherwise, the animals would continue to enter villages,” said a forest department official.