RAMGARH: A herd of elephants on its way to the Barkagaon forest went on a rampage on the four-lane National Highway 33 for several hours late on Monday, attacking vehicles, including a passenger bus. No casualty has been reported in the incident. The elephants went through the remote villages of Mandu block and crossed the national highway before entering the Hazarigbag forest division.
Ramgarh deputy commissioner Abu Imran said he had asked the forest department officials to drive away the herd with the help of experts to avoid any kind of untoward incident on the busy national highway.
A K Singh, divisional forest officer (Ramgarh) said, "Thirty-three forest officials accompanied by experts immediately went to the spot to drive the herd away. The elephants were on the highway for nearly six hours, paralyzing vehicular movement. The herd attacked a passenger bus from Biharsarif to Jamshedpur, but no casualty has been reported."
The outer area of Ramgarh district is an elephant corridor as the area is surrounded with hills and forests. With their natural habitat shrinking, the elephants often wander into villages in search of food, Singh said. He added that the forest department is keeping a close watch on the movement of elephants.
The district administration and the forest department have initiated various schemes to keep the tuskers away from villages. This includes distribution of dragon torches, firecrackers and kerosene among the villagers. The department is also preparing to construct watch towers in three blocks of the district, Imran added.
In November 2013, a herd of angry tuskers had blocked Ramgarh-Bokaro NH-23 near Gola for several hours. One of the elephants had entered Ramgarh town and destroyed the boundary wall of Ramgarh police station.