| A house destroyed by elephants in Rengali block. Telegraph picture |
Sambalpur, Jan. 25: A 30-year-old male elephant has destroyed a number of houses at Parekhpara in the district, forcing the villagers to take shelter in the Jangla gram panchayat office.
Five families of the village have left their houses fearing attack from the rogue elephant. The jumbo has destroyed the houses of Sitaram Parekh, Balram Parekh, Sriram Parekh, Tapaswini Parkekh and Budhuram Parekh of Parekhpara.
Sambalpur sub-collector Rainu Singh visited the village and met the victims. “The elephant has destroyed the houses and paddy stored there. We are making an assessment of losses caused to the families by the elephant,” said Singh.
A local villager said: “After being separated from the herd, the elephant has been creating havoc at Derba, Narupara, Jangla, Parekhpara, Lahamani, Laripali, Langbahal, Rangloi, and Gouddihi villages of Rengali block for the past two weeks. So far, it has damaged 18 houses and injured three persons.”
Another villager said: “People are spending sleepless nights because of the elephant.” “At least three persons, including a woman, are now undergoing treatment after sustaining injuries in the attack from this jumbo. The elephant attacked a woman of Gouddihi village on January 2 and two others at Rangloi village on January 5,” said Harihar Nath, a villager.
“The mushrooming of industries has destroyed the elephant corridor. The movement path of the elephants has been affected because of the boundary walls of several industries. Because of indiscriminate deforestation, the corridor in this area has been degraded,” said Nath.
Forest official sources said the elephant had come from the Badrama reserve forest area.