Jumbos give Chhattisgarh villagers sleepless nights

"Some 50 tribal families of Ketka area in Surguja district have been spending sleepless nights and they fear for life as a herd of 11 wild elephants has been making an entry into their village every night since Friday," a senior official here at forest headquarters told IANS.
He said villagers were feeling traumatised by the wild elephants. The pachyderms move away from the areas in day time, but suddenly appear at night. He added that a few families have begun migrating for fear of being attacked.

The Ketka forested area is located over 400 km north from state capital Raipur and forms a massive stretch that has seen many humans being killed by wild elephants in the past three years.

Last week, the Chhattisgarh government voiced concern about rising cases of man-elephant conflict in its vast northern zone comprising of Surguja, Jashpur, Koria, Korba and Raigarh districts.

The government has announced it is working on a concept to put up a 100-km long solar power fence in such zones to stop wild elephants from making their way to human habitations in forested areas.

The government also pays millions of rupees annually in compensation to affected families for loss of human lives and damage caused to houses and crops by wild elephants.

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