Dhenkanal, 4 September
The state government has sanctioned Rs 1.10 crore for the people who have incurred loss due to elephant attack in Dhenkanal forest division.
A source in the office of the divisional forest officer (DFO) informed that the government has released Rs 63 lakh of the sanctioned amount, and the remaining part is expected to be released shortly.
The funds will be used to provide compensation to the villagers who have suffered on account of damage to their houses and crop loss by the marauding elephants.
“We have received 3469 applications from people who have claimed compensation for house damage and crop loss between 2010-11 and May 2013. With the funds available with us, we will pay compensation to 3199 villagers. The remaining claimants will be entertained in subsequent phases with release of the next installments,” the source said.  According to the petitions received by the office, the elephants have damaged crops on over 1171.04 acres of land in the eight blocks of the district during the period.
As per the government guidelines, Rs 10,000 is paid as compensation for loss of paddy crop on an acre of land; while in case of cash crop, the amount of compensation has been fixed at Rs 12,000 per acre. A sum of Rs 10,000 is paid for fully damaged houses, while partial damage entails release of Rs 2,000.  Death of adult cattle and calves has provision of compensation of Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,500 respectively. 
“The compensation payments will be made through the respective range offices. The beneficiaries will be paid through cheques,” said DFO Mr PK Sahu.
The cash crop destroyed by the elephants includes sugarcane and horticulture products, while paddy crop on a large chunk of land has also been damaged by the animals. 
DFO Mr Sahu claimed that the department is taking necessary steps to prevent man-animal conflict, and loss of human lives and property by the pachyderms.
“We are keeping a close watch on the movement of the animals and also chasing them away from human habitations when they stray near one,” he said.