Elephant image used for representational purposes only.
Elephant image used for representational purposes only. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

Elephants raids on IMA campus in Odisha spike as migration routes get blocked

Elephants have strayed into the campus of IMA at Andharua seven times in the last month.

BHUBANESWAR : The human-animal conflict along the periphery of Chandaka seems to have worsened in recent times with elephants from the wildlife sanctuary straying into the campus of Institute of Mathematics and Applications (IMA) at Andharua seven times in the last one month.

According to the officials of IMA, the tension has escalated since May with the jumbos entering the campus repeatedly on May 15, 17, 23, 26, 27, 28 and June 5. The elephants have entered the campus at least 12 times in the last one year. The pachyderms mostly enter the institute premises between 7 pm and 5 am.

Worried over the increasing incidents of human-elephant encounters, the institute authorities have sought immediate intervention of the Forest department. In a letter to the Chandaka DFO, the director of IMA said wild elephants are entering the institute premises regularly by breaking the campus boundary wall.

The R&B division-V, Bhubaneswar had repaired the boundary wall 15 days back. However, the elephants broke it again and are entering the campus through the same route. As the campus houses students, immediate steps should be taken to avoid any untoward incident, the IMA director said while seeking a permanent solution to the problem.

Chandaka officials said shrinking habitat and blocking of migration paths are the reasons behind the jumbos straying into human habitations.

The movement of elephants in Chandaka usually takes place on Dasapur, Andharua and Barunei routes. Andharua is one of their usual migration passages. Besides, there are large chunks of open land near Dasapur and Andharua which have so far remained unaffected from construction activities, making it favourable for movement of elephants in the area, they said.

Chandaka DFO Sarat Behera said to reduce conflict and prevent movement of elephants towards human habitations, the Forest department has sent a proposal to the government for construction of concrete walls along Chandaka border.

The New Indian Express