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Elephant herd plays havoc in Bantala range area

 ANGUL:Around 30 to 40 elephants have created havoc in Bantala range area in recent months with killing of three persons by elephants.Ironically, the range which is reported one of the highest human deaths in Odisha last year was allocated rupees 4.65 crore to deal with the alarming elephant menace.But so far some lighting  and other civil works have been made but there was no soar fencing in the range area as was envisaged in the plan.

Reports say so far only one crore has been spent and the remaining amount has been refunded due to non-utilization.

Locals say that around 30 to 40 elephants normally stay in the area round the year.They destroy vegetable crops, paddy crops, and banana crops entering into villages.

The elephant herd creates havoc like situations by wandering in village areas thus affecting the normal lives of the people.



 A local said,despite the government announcement of funds to deal with elephant menace nothing has changed in the ground so far. Elephants enter into villages and destroy vegetable crops and kill human beings. People have restricted their movements due to the presence of elephant herds in their area.It is high time that the forest department should make Bantala area elephants free and ensure normal lives for the people.

The Bantala range Officer Niladri Sahu admitting the menace said funds allocated for the elephants has not been fully utilized.The forest officially are making best of the efforts to keep elephants at bay from village areas. With round the clock patrolling, he said  due to intense patrolling by forest staff and an awareness campaign the death toll has been minimized this year.

He said there is a floating elephant coming from the Dhenkanal side and creating more problems.

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