Jumbos on rampage in Kadapa villages
Kadapa: A large herd of elephants in the Seshachala forest area in the district have been straying into the agricultural fields, destroying the crops...
Kadapa: A large herd of elephants in the Seshachala forest area in the district have been straying into the agricultural fields, destroying the crops and causing immense damage. With this, the farmers were incurring heavy losses running into crores of rupees. The government, which has a responsibility to protect the elephants and also the people from their attacks, has become a helpless spectator in this regard. Although the government mooted the setting up of an elephant zone in the region 10 years ago, the project is yet to materialize. The officials concerned in the Forest Department have sent a proposal in this regard to the Central government but nothing happened so far. Last year, over 20 elephants trampled upon the horticultural fields and destroyed the trees and fruits. Every year, crops on a large scale are destroyed by the pachyderms. The wild animals are forced to come into the outskirts of the villages and attack the people as they are not finding enough water to quench their thirst and food to eat in the forests. Due to heavy deforestation measures, the wildlife habitat was getting greatly disturbed. The Seshachala forest is spread out from Rajampet constituency to Rollamadugu village and also to the border areas of Nellore district like Raavuru, Chitveli, Nanduluru and Koduru. The elephants have been attacking people living in the areas adjacent to the Seshachala Hills on the way to Tirumala for the last 10 years. One of the reasons why the government was not showing much interest in the Elephant Zone Project was that it had failed to yield results in the neighbouring state of Karnataka. Besides, the officials were not keen to setup the elephant zone in the State. In the year 1996, the State government with funds flowing from World Bank, decided to setup solar fencing in the region. The forest department officials also sent proposals to organize solar fencing at Balarajupalle and Rollamadugu adjacent to the Rajampet constituency. But, unfortunately, the government failed to take any action and threw the proposals in the dustbin. Under the elephant zone, solar fencing was erected between the forest area and the outskirts of the villages to prevent the elephants and other wild animals from straying into the villages. They go back to the forests. It would be safe both to the wild animals and the people. However, as it did not yield good results in Karnataka, officials lost interest in the elephant zone project. The suggestions to dig up trenches in the outskirts of forests were also not taken up. Elephant attacks have escalated in Koduru, Obulavaripalle, and Pullampet mandals in the district. Nearly 50 villages such as Balapalle, Balireddygaripalle, Gadela, Venkataramapuram, Eguvareddypalle, Rollamadugu, Balarajupalle and others come under the danger zone. Last week on Thursday, wild elephants had created havoc by attacking people and destroying their agricultural fields in Balarajupalle of Railway Koduru constituency. In the process, even some of the elephants also lost their lives, which is again bad. The people of the district said that it was high time for the government to take up the issue seriously by taking urgent measures to organize solar fencing and protect them from the onslaught of elephants.