Inadequate rain and lack of irrigation facilities notwithstanding, farmers of Panikeswar village in Buguda block raised paddy crop by lifting water from Baghua reservoir.
The crop was at the flowering stage. But on Sunday night, their hopes were trampled with marauding elephants destroying paddy over 40 acres owned by seven families.
The herd, comprising 15 elephants, had been spotted in Giriamma forest near the village.
The victims on Monday met the forest officials and demanded compensation for the loss. They also urged them to chase the herd away.
The incident has spread panic among the residents of eight villages.