Chamarajanagara: The villagers in District on border of State and Tamilnadu have complained that wild elephants are destroying lakhs of rupees crop during night. Despite many requests to Forest Department they have not take any action, they alleged.
A herd of around 40 to 50 elephants is regularly entering the fields here and the farmers are not able to sustain the crops that have been harvested, and the condition of the farmers is alarming. In Chamarajanagar Taluk, the elephants entering from Tamil Nadu side destroying paddy, sugarcane, tobacco, ragi and maize, banana plantation in Arakalawadi, Honnahalli, Honnahalli Hundi and Vadgalpura Villages.
The villages alleged that Arakalawadi in Chamarajanagara Taluk fall under the Biligiriranganath Tiger Reserve,(BRT) bordering the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. Due to the lack of elephant ditch and railway fence, a group of 40 to 50 elephants from the forests of Tamil Nadu are running rampant on the State lands and bringing tears to the eyes of the farmers, they rued.
Tamil Nadu Forest Department has not been contacted by State officials to prevent elephant menace, they further allege. The lack of staff in the Forest Department to manage elephant menace has made people angry. In the meantime, the local farmers have expressed outrage that the amount of compensation given by the Government is meagre.
Villagers of Vadgalpura accused Chamarajanagara Tahasildar Basavaraju and BRT officials. Farmers are outraged as despite many requests and raising the issue and also requesting to deploy forest staff to check wild elephant menace no one bothers about it.
Chamarajanagara MLA C. Puttarangashetty visited the areas attacked by elephant and said that the elephants coming from the Tamil Nadu forest area are destroying the crops in this area. The concerned authorities should take immediate action in this regard, he noted.
MLA said that Tamil Nadu officers should take measures to prevent entry of elephants. Crops destroyed by elephant attacks should be adequately compensated, he urged.
After the death of Umesh Katti, who was the Minister of Forests, the Forest portfolio is with the Chief Minister, so quick steps are not being taken. Chamarajanagara, has the largest number of elephants but Government so far has not formed elephant task force. Department is providing just Rs. 400 to 500 compensation for destruction of coconut tree in wild elephant menace. Farmers demand at least Rs. 4000 to 5000 for one sapling.
BRT Director Deepa Contractor said that the revenue land owned by farmers is adjacent to Sathyamangalam Forest area. Due to this, the trench is not being constructed. If the farmers can agree to construct the trench in their lands trench would be constructed, she said and added that correspondence will be conducted with the Tamil Nadu Forest Department to control wild elephant menace.