Krishnagiri: Top officials with the Tamil Nadu State Forest Department have urged residents living near the Kelevarapallu dam near Hosur in Krishnagiri district to refrain from going near the dam owing to the presence of a herd of elephants in the area. Jumbos from the same herd reportedly strayed into settlements near the dam on Tuesday and destroyed the crops of local farmers.
Following recent instances, forest rangers urged villagers to avoid disturbing the herd and to stay in their homes after nightfall. The herd has been moving from one village to the other in this district for several days now, said a wildlife official adding that a number of local farmers have alleged that their crops were destroyed by the moving herd which has now set up camp near the Kelevarapallu dam.
According to a report by Times of India, one villager claims to have lost crops worth nearly Rs 1 lakh due to the movement of the herd in the area. The grieving farmer, along with other locals has urged the district administration to compensate them for their loss. Krishnagiri district is no stranger to the movement of elephant herds. In July of last year, a 60-year-old migrant farmer was killed by a wild elephant in the Azhiyalam village. As many as two other deaths as a result of jumbo attacks were reported from the district last year.
Farmers from neighbouring villages of Podurpuallam and Rampuram have also gone on record to state how their fellow locals have been chased or attacked by wild elephants on more than one occasion. In fact, one farmer by the name of Krishnaveni of Azhiyalam village now lives with a permanent disability after he tried to protect his crops from a herd of wild elephants. While family members of the deceased villagers were granted compensation by the forest department, little has been done to check the movement of jumbos along this corridor.