Coimbatore: Farmers from Thadagam on Tuesday requested the district administration and the forest department to relocate wild elephants roaming in the area, damaging houses and crops. Pointing out that wild elephants were straying into 10 villages in and around Thadagam every evening and causing damage to their residences, the farmers said all their savings were spent
on repairing houses and buying crackers to scare the animals away.
Collector T N Hariharan hadn’t taken any step to address their woes, despite making several representations in this regard, the residents told TOI.
On Tuesday, farmers and a few residents of Thadagam informally met near the vivasayigal sangam office in North Coimbatore and decided to take up the elephant menace issue seriously. “It is not just one or two but a herd of five or six elephants that stray into human habitats around 7 pm every day,” said M Mahalakshmi, a farmer’s wife. “When there are more than one or two elephants, it is difficult and dangerous to chase them away.”
Elephant menace is reported at Thadagam, Somaiyanur, Kalaiyanur, Thiruvalluvar, Mankarai, Varappalayam and Madathur villages. Residents said locking themselves inside their houses every evening to save their lives has become the order of the day.
“Almost every house on the border areas of these villages have some damages caused by elephants,” Mahalakshmi said. “Two weeks ago, we had requested the collector to direct forest officials to do something to end the elephant menace. Now, we want them to relocate elephants from the Thadagam beat. We do not want elephants to damage our houses and crops. Our lives are at risk.
Villagers said they were shelling out a major share of their savings on repairing their houses damaged in elephant attacks and on crackers to chase away the elephants. “Each family spend around Rs 1,000 a month on crackers,” said R Karthik, a farmer