| An elderly woman stands outside her house that was destroyed by a rogue elephant in Rengali block of Sambalpur. Telegraph picture |
Sambalpur, Feb. 20: A wild elephant separated from a herd has been creating havoc in areas within the limits of Rengali bloc. The rogue elephant has allegedly destroyed 67 houses in the area in the last one and a half months.
The devastation caused by the elephant has led to public outrage. The affected villagers of Ludhapali, Gadgadbahal, Badmal, Bhoipali, Jangla and Laripali of Rengali block today met the tehsildar and the officer of Rengali forest range and informed them about the damages caused by the elephant.
They demanded a written undertaking from the officials that adequate measures would be taken to chase the elephant away from the block.
“The forest officials have failed to tackle the elephant. Some families have already left their villages in the fear of the elephant. Even last night, it has destroyed at least eight houses at Beura village in Rengali,” said Ramakanta Biswal, a villager.
“If the department fails to chase the jumbo from here, the affected villagers will be compelled to resort to an agitation,” said Biswal.
“At least three persons of this block had sustained severe injuries in the attack of the elephant last month. The people of this area have stopped going out in the evenings because of its fear,” said another villager.
“The elephant had moved to Kolabira block area of neighbouring Jharsuguda district from here on January 26. After a series of destructive attacks there, it again entered into the Rengali block on February 13,” said a forest official.
The elephant had destroyed about 80 houses and trampled a man to death in Kolabira.
Divisional forest officer Rajkishore Sahu said: “The elephant has been creating havoc after it got separated from a herd. The forest officials are trying their best to chase it away. We have written to the chief conservator of forests, wildlife division, about the elephant. They will take a decision in this regard.”
“The forest officials are finding it difficult to watch the movement of the tusker since it is moving alone. Moreover, the elephant is straying into villages during nights,” said a forest official.