KADAPA: There is fear and tension in villages adjacent to Vageti Kona region of Kodur mandal of the district, following destruction of mango groves by a wild herd of 20 elephants, for the second day on Sunday.
According to information reaching here, the elephants who entered Vageti Kona area in search of a waterhole on Saturday morning, were attracted by the smell of ripening mangoes and ripped right through the standing crop.
They damaged mango trees in 40 acres of land and most of damaged mango groves belong to farmers of Lakshmipuram and Yanadi colonies of Odur mandal.
Even as villagers were dealing with losses and have spent a sleepless night, the elephants again struck on Sunday and laid waste another 30 acres of mango orchards in Kothapalle village of the mandal. Villagers said that they had lost acres of water melon crop and mango groves two months ago, when elephants had ravaged them. Now, again they have destroyed the fruit gardens, while farmers were going to harvest the crop.
The farmers claimed that they have suffered losses to the tune of `80 lakh in elephant attacks, in last two days. They are angry with forest department for donning the role of mere spectator and doing nothing. “Whenever we suffer losses due to elephant attack, they come, speak some soft consoling words and pay nominal compensation and go away. This amount is insignificant and cannot cover our losses,” rue farmers.
When contacted Balupalle Ranger Venkata Subbaiah said that that they have inspected the area, where elephants have struck the mango groves and deployed staff to protect the area. Drum beaters were engaged and crackers will be burst to drive away the elephants back into the interiors of the forests, he said and opined that water scarcity inside the forest might have driven them out in search of water holes and while searching for water, they raided the mango groves.