Chenga villagers protest dept inaction on jumbo menace


Wed, Nov 6, 2019

PRASHANT ACHARYA
SILIGURI:
Hundreds of villagers of Chenga Busty under Mirik block today staged a protest at Panighatta forest range against terror of wild elephants in the area since last few weeks.
On Tuesday morning, an elderly Budha Lohar (75) was trampled to death by a wild elephant at Tukria Forest Busty. He was a resident of Bijoy Nagar Tea Estate near Hatigisha under Naxalbari block.
According to local people, the wild elephant chased an old man about half kilometres and killed him.
Baldev Shah local resident of Chenga Busty said, “This is enough since last couple of weeks people here are not able to come out of their houses due to fear of elephant attack. A wild elephant roams around the tea garden and village areas even during the day time. The Forest department failed to push back the animal to the forest and provide security and safety to the villagers.”
The villagers have also demanded solar street lights along the roads and entry points of the animals.
Today, hundreds of villagers assembled at the office of the range officer at Panighatta demanding safety and security for the villages. They shouted slogans and later submitted deputation to the DFO Kurseong through Ranger Panighatta range.
The protesters said the forest officials have assured for the needful action and security to the villagers.
Tika Sharma, a resident of Chenga said the area is under terror of wild elephant after it killed an elderly woman and injured her husband on October 24 while returning back to home from morning walk at around 5:30 am. “Since then, the same elephant is frequently entering the village and wreaking havoc. If necessary measures are not taken, the elephant may take lives of several other peoples and damage the properties.”
Panighatta forest range officials could not be contacted after several attempts for their reactions on the issue.


Area: 7096 Sq Km
Capital:Gangtok
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Climate:
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi