Sundargarh: Jumbos destroy vegetables; tribals decry inaction by forest
officials (State of Odisha, India)
September 23, 2022
SUNDARGARH: Villagers of the Bonai area in Sundargarh district have
expressed strong protest against forest officials’ sheer inattentiveness
towards elephant menace they are facing for long.
“Elephants have been damaging our crops and properties. We are spending
sleepless nights. But forest officials are in a deep slumber over our
plights,” said villagers.
Elephants have been moving in human habitation areas in Basuan range area
under Bonai forest subdivision for many days now. But forest department
says it has no knowledge about the jumbo presence there.
Sources said elephants have eaten up and destroyed vegetables on acres of
land in Rengama village. Poor tribal farmers had undertaken vegetable
cultivation on a total of 45 acres of land with DMF funds. Now, they have
suffered a huge loss.
Over a hundred families, all tribals, live in the village. Earlier, they
had been living on daily wages. Recently, they heaved a sigh of relief with
DMF funds availed to them to undertake cultivation and make them
self-reliance. However, elephants seem to have stood on their way of
“We have informed the forest department about entry of elephants in our
area and how they are damaging our crops. But the department has not taken
any action yet,” rued farmers.
Alleging that forest squads have never come to drive away the pachyderms,
villagers have threatened to gherao the forest office soon.