Jumbo raids: Villagers irked by official lethargy
Farmers were further annoyed because, though the forest range officer lives in Pernambut, he failed to visit the affected area.
VELLORE: Residents of Serangal village near Pernambut were irked by the continued lack of action by Forest Department in preventing wild elephants from destroying crops. They besieged a forester, who went to investigate on Tuesday.
Two wild elephants strayed from the forest and entered the farms of three farmers whose standing banana, mango, coconut and pineapple plants were trampled and destroyed. What irked villagers was that they spent the entire Monday night in chasing the wild elephants back into the forest by firing crackers and banging on pots and pans while the Forest Department officials put in an appearance only on Tuesday morning.
“Forest Department staff never come when we need them,” said a farmer seeking anonymity. “It is enough if they can guarantee safety for our lives instead of always harping on compensation,” he added.
Thus, when a forester Ilayaraja came to inspect the affected areas in the morning farmers besieged him and would not allow him to leave for more than three hours, sources revealed.
Farmers were further annoyed because, though the forest range officer lives in Pernambut, he failed to visit the affected area. These events reverberated in the agricultural grievances day meet held by the Gudiyattam RDO too. Farmers condemning the lack of action, walked out of the meeting.