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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sundargarh, Mar 4:

A herd of elephants has been causing extensive damage to property and farm in villages under Kanika Forest Range in Hemagiri block of Odisha’s Sundargarh district since last two months.

According to reports, a jumbo herd from nearby jungles in the district and adjoining districts had strayed into the area about two months ago.

The pachyderms have been wreaking havoc in the area damaging paddy crop after entering into farm lands and also have created panic in residential areas as they have caused damage to houses too.

Over 50 houses have been damaged in Kanika village by elephants’ onslaught following which we had staged a protest in front of Kanika forest office, but in-vain, said an affected villager.

The frightened villagers are spending sleepless nights and trying their best to scare away the group, with fire lamps, from entering into residential area.

However, best of their efforts have yielded no results despite frequent attempts by forest officials to drive them away.

Moreover, Jharsuguda and Sudargarh forest divisions have also launched a joint operation to drive away the elephant herd.

“Two teams have been deployed equipped with modern equipment to drive away the herd,” said Sudargarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Arun Kumar Mishra.

We are in talks with Forest officials of Jajpur district to bring a blinking light with siren this week to drive away the elephant herd, he added.