DHENKANAL:People of Sudhadihakateni under Sadashivpur gram panchayat in the district have been spending sleepless nights for the last few days apprehending that the elephant herd may sneak into their habitation and wreak havoc.
The herd has been damaging acres of standing paddy crops near Rengali right canal in Gondia. For the last one month, elephants have been camping near Brahmani river in Sadar block, while one wild tusker has been chasing people in the area. Recently, the herd crossed the railway tracks in Sadashivpur, the villagers said.
In 2017, eight villagers were killed in man-elephant conflict in the district, while several sustained injuries. Similarly, 11 elephants died due to various reasons, Forest department sources said and added that with absence of food and water in the forests, the tuskers have been sneaking into human habitation.
Villagers said after drought-like situation, pest attack and jumbo havoc have damaged their crops.
Dhenkanal DFO Rinku Kumari said the district administration has asked the railway authorities to slow down the speed of trains in Sadashivpur area to avoid elephant casualties.