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Wild elephants damage standing crops

By Staff correspondent

DIBRUGARH, Nov 17 � Richly growing paddy in the fertile soil of Larua mouza within the district has again become the free meal for the marauding pachyderms. Farmers of Mainamiri, Dighalia, Majgaon and Chakoipathar villages wihin the mouza are the worst affected.

�The elephants trample and destroy vast stretches of sprawling paddy cultivation area as they can more than meet their giant apetite,� Taku-ur secretary of Kalakhowa Chariali said. The mass destruction is not a recent havoc for the farmers in the area, as this problem has persisted since several decades. Herds of elephants venture out from the nearby Dehingmukh and Medla reserve forest, every year around this time to feast on the maturing paddy. Helpless farmers break down when they see their standing crops crushed and gulped by the giant animals.

Over the years, the Forest department has only remained a mute spectator, as their efforts to scare away the pachyderms with crackers have proved a failure. Year after year, Forest personnel have been bursting crackers and resorting to blank firing but the elephant depredation continues. Govind Chandra Borah, the Gaonburah of Kalakhowa Gojai Gaon, told this newspaper that the elephant herds come in about 70 to 80 numbers. �If we scare away from our village, the herds will plunder and destroy elsewhere�, he said. The Gaonburah also said that the pachyderms are very fond of Bora dhan (one breed of paddy) and would target mainly this crop to feast on.

Other villages affected by elephant depredation are Sessa Kinar, Kalakhowa, Rangagorah, Lezai Miri Pathar, Bordoibam, Nagasuk and Dehingthan. Although, a few years back US Fish and Wild Life Service funded a project of the Forest department to keep away the animals, the project failed to meet desired obejective. The project was about laying electric fences around the cultivated area mainly near Medla, Madhupur and Patra Gaon villages to ward off the elephants.

According to a rough assessment, about 300 bighas of maturing paddy cultivation area have already been destroyed. Although local youths have been working with the Forest personel, efforst are not yeilding results, according to Taki-ur Rehman. The elephants mostly venture out at dawn from the twin reserve forests.

Forest Ranger of Dibrugarh, Jiten Borah, today informed The Assam Tribune that the department was seeking to end the depredation problem by constructing huge drains around the forest area and erecting solar fence in order to confine the elephants inside the jungles. �We have sent a proposal for the construction of drain and putting up solar fence,� he said.

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Wild elephants damage standing crops

DIBRUGARH, Nov 17 � Richly growing paddy in the fertile soil of Larua mouza within the district has again become the free meal for the marauding pachyderms. Farmers of Mainamiri, Dighalia, Majgaon and Chakoipathar villages wihin the mouza are the worst affected.

�The elephants trample and destroy vast stretches of sprawling paddy cultivation area as they can more than meet their giant apetite,� Taku-ur secretary of Kalakhowa Chariali said. The mass destruction is not a recent havoc for the farmers in the area, as this problem has persisted since several decades. Herds of elephants venture out from the nearby Dehingmukh and Medla reserve forest, every year around this time to feast on the maturing paddy. Helpless farmers break down when they see their standing crops crushed and gulped by the giant animals.

Over the years, the Forest department has only remained a mute spectator, as their efforts to scare away the pachyderms with crackers have proved a failure. Year after year, Forest personnel have been bursting crackers and resorting to blank firing but the elephant depredation continues. Govind Chandra Borah, the Gaonburah of Kalakhowa Gojai Gaon, told this newspaper that the elephant herds come in about 70 to 80 numbers. �If we scare away from our village, the herds will plunder and destroy elsewhere�, he said. The Gaonburah also said that the pachyderms are very fond of Bora dhan (one breed of paddy) and would target mainly this crop to feast on.

Other villages affected by elephant depredation are Sessa Kinar, Kalakhowa, Rangagorah, Lezai Miri Pathar, Bordoibam, Nagasuk and Dehingthan. Although, a few years back US Fish and Wild Life Service funded a project of the Forest department to keep away the animals, the project failed to meet desired obejective. The project was about laying electric fences around the cultivated area mainly near Medla, Madhupur and Patra Gaon villages to ward off the elephants.

According to a rough assessment, about 300 bighas of maturing paddy cultivation area have already been destroyed. Although local youths have been working with the Forest personel, efforst are not yeilding results, according to Taki-ur Rehman. The elephants mostly venture out at dawn from the twin reserve forests.

Forest Ranger of Dibrugarh, Jiten Borah, today informed The Assam Tribune that the department was seeking to end the depredation problem by constructing huge drains around the forest area and erecting solar fence in order to confine the elephants inside the jungles. �We have sent a proposal for the construction of drain and putting up solar fence,� he said.