Nation Current Affairs 07 Jul 2017 Tirupati: Farmers fe ...

Tirupati: Farmers fear elephant attacks

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 7, 2017, 8:22 am IST
Updated Jul 7, 2017, 8:22 am IST
Drums distributed to divert elephants, says Tirupati DFO.
With kharif season getting underway, farmers in Chittoor district are now apprehensive of herds of wild elephants raiding their fields.
 With kharif season getting underway, farmers in Chittoor district are now apprehensive of herds of wild elephants raiding their fields.

TIRUPATI: With kharif season getting underway, farmers in Chittoor district are now apprehensive of herds of wild elephants raiding their fields. In recent times, the frequency of adventurism by the elephants in the fields has increased to at least once a week. Farmers are spending sleepless nights as they lay awake, in case herds of wild elephants enter the fields and destroy crops ready to harvest. The forest department has been trying to help the farmers by shooing away wild beasts, but the foresters too come under attack.

This is not the first such incident. In fact, some have ended in mishaps. Raja Reddy, a farmer from Pendyala village of Ramakuppam mandal said, “The forest department has given compensation for loss of my crop but I incurred much more expenditure than what I finally got. As the government is paying, the forest officials should work on finding out a permanent solution that would save our crops."

 

According to recent census, there are 22 elephants in Chittoor west division and 20 to 25 in the east division. Ramakuppam has jumbos from AP whereas Gudipalli mandal has elephants crossing over from Karnataka. Wild elephants come to Kuppal from Tamil Nadu forest and V. Kota has similar visitors belonging to the Pernambattu forest area. All these areas share borders with other states.

Naga Bushanam, a farmer from S. Golla Palli said, “The government giving Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per acre as compensation. The elephants also damage pipelines used for micro irrigation.” Most of these farmers farm crops like beans, mangos, paddy and tomato. According to some officials, 249-km long trench has been dug between Kuppam and V. Kota mandal to ward off the elephants. Forest official B.K. Singh said, “The elephants mostly come in the summer for mangoes. The herd in Tirupati ranges from 20-25 elephants and may sometimes split up into smaller groups. They are shy when compared to others. They even hide from humans. But for safety reasons we are taking measures to avoid attacks by them.”

 

Tirupati DFO D. Phani Kumar Naidu said, “To divert the wild elephants, drums have been distributed in such areas. Also, we sometimes use firecrackers. We have distributed nearly `36 lakh as compensation. We are coordinating with the horticulture department and compensating the farmers as soon as possible.”

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