BALASORE: Elephants, tuskers in particular, are wreaking havoc in Kulagidihi, Ghodabandha and Ashansikad villages under Bisoi block of Mayurbhanj district.
In the last few days, the pachyderms have killed one person in the area, besides damaging houses and eating crops. To escape the menace, people are reportedly spending nights on tree tops.
“Elephants are entering our habitations during evening and leaving at dawn after damaging the houses and devouring food grains,” said Jada Bindhani of Kulagidihi.
Sources said the elephants are suspected to have sneaked in from Similipal reserve forest. Goutam Mohanta (70) of Hatidandi village was trampled to death by one of the tuskers on Sunday. Irate people blocked Karanjia- Singda main road keeping the body on the road demanding compensation for the family of the deceased.
Karanjia DFO Ashish Behera and SDPO Jay Krushna Behera reached the village to pacify the agitators. Deputy Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) Bikash Dash said Rs 5000 has been provided to the kin of the deceased while Rs 2 lakh will be given as compensation as per the Government norm.
The animals have so far damaged 113 houses in this forest division. Honourary wildlife warden Jayant Harichandan said Nilagiri, Rasgobindpur, Deuli, Sukruli, Chitrada, Thakurmunda and Betnoti areas in the region are the worst affected as far as man-elephant conflicts are concerned.