Street plays to fix human-crocodile conflict in Kendrapara

The Forest department has recently erected barricades at 80 river ghats and ponds around Bhitarkanika in Aul, Rajkanika and Pattamundai blocks.

Published: 08th July 2023 10:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th July 2023 10:43 AM   |  A+A-


Image for representational purpose. (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: In a bid to curb human-crocodile conflict near Bhitarkanika National Park, the Forest Department has roped in local artistes to create awareness in riverside villages through street plays. 

Traditional ‘Pala’ artistes including singers are being involved in street plays to spread awareness among villagers about the dangers of using water from rivers. The water bodies of Bhitarkanika are home to around 1,793 saltwater crocodiles. In the last one month, three persons including a 10-year-old boy have been killed in crocodile attacks in the coastal district.

Sagarika Mondal, an artiste of Talachua village, said, “We are organising street plays with the help of forest officials. Through our performances, we are trying to convince villagers to stay away from rivers. We have also penned some songs to encourage locals to only use water from tube-wells and take bath at barricaded river ghats.”

A street play underway in Kendrapara

Forest personnel are also performing in the plays along with local artistes. Divisional forest officer (DFO) of Bhitarkanika Sudarshan Gopinath Yadav said, “We organised street plays at Talachua and Keurapala gram panchayats on Thursday evening. Artistes have a crucial role to play in creating awareness. They are also trying to dispel the misinformation surrounding the human-crocodile conflict.”

Apart from conducting street plays, the department is distributing posters and pamphlets among villagers. “We are also spreading the message through loudspeakers in riverside villages,” the DFO informed.

Yadav further said the department has advised farmers to remain alert while carrying out agriculture activities in their fields as crocodiles often come to land near rivers for laying eggs. 

The Forest Department has recently erected barricades at 80 river ghats and ponds around Bhitarkanika in Aul, Rajkanika and Pattamundai blocks.

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