Friday, December 29, 2017

JUMBOS ON THE RAMPAGE DAMAGE CROPS IN BALANGIR Friday, 29 December 2017 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

JUMBOS ON THE RAMPAGE DAMAGE CROPS IN BALANGIR
Friday, 29 December 2017 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Elephants have been damaging paddy crops on a wide scale in Balangir, Deogaon, Loisingha and Agalpur blocks in Balangir district since last three days.
The elephants have damaged crops at Raipali and nearby villages in the Deogaon Forest Range, Upparjhar and its adjoining villages in the Balangir Forest Range and at Salebhata in the Loisingha Forest Range.
The jumbos have also damaged brinjal and tomato and banana fields. While there is Government provision for compensation for damage to paddy crop, there is no such provision for damages to vegetable cultivation. Worse, there is no clear-cut provision for compensation for the paddy damaged while stored in Khala (barn).
The procedure to get compensation for crop damage caused by elephants has been simplified since 2016; and farmers have to apply to the Forest Range office with some minimum documents like a Xerox copy of Aadhaar card, Record of Rights of the land and bank account and photograph of crop damage area.
According to Forest Department sources, 214 farmers were given crop damage compensation amounting to over Rs8 lakh in the Balangir Forest Range in 2016 within a few months after field verification and the money was transferred to farmers’ accounts.
However the affected farmers feel the compensation amount is inadequate. “We protect our village forests which have grown into dense forests. As a result, elephants came and damaged our paddy crops. The amount of compensation for crop damage is inadequate. We want it to be increased substantially," said a villager of Phatamunda in the Balangir Forest Range to the forest officials who came to generate awareness among masses about elephant conservation.
While the erratic rainfall and pest attack affected the farmers  first, the inadequate crop damage compensation and no compensation for damages to vegetable cultivation by elephants has hit the poor farmers hard further

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