Elephants demolish a dozen houses in Chhattisgarh village

January 12th, 2011 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Jan 12 (IANS) In the second such incident within a fortnight, a herd of nine wild jumbos demolished 12 houses in a village in Surguja district, forcing 50 residents to flee in panic, officials said Wednesday.”Wild elephants sneaked into Damali village Tuesday night and brought down 12 mud-built houses,” Ramchandra Barai, a local forest official, told IANS. He said about 50 villagers ran away around midnight despite the extreme cold to avoid being trampled.

The forest official said that elephants are still roaming in Damali village, some 420 km north from here. The few locals who are still present in the village have been advised against adopting the traditional method of trying to scare the tuskers away by using fire as it may agitate them further.

The Chhattisgarh government has admitted that rampaging elephants pose a major problem for its vast northern forested region.

Officials say the state government is working on a project to put up a 100 km long solar-powered fence in the human-elephant conflict zones to prevent the tuskers from wandering in the villages.

The districts worst hit by the elephant menace are Surguja, Jashpur, Koria, Korba and Raigarh where villagers are often forced to migrate due to attacks of wild tuskers. The government also pays millions of rupees annually in compensation to the affected families for the loss of lives and the damages caused to houses and crops.

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