Elephant menace rocks Orissa Assembly

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 14 (UNI) Expressing concern over the rising elephant menace in Orissa, members in the Assembly cutting across party lines today demanded amendment in the provision of the Relief Code to provide adequate compensation to the victims.

Making special mention, the members said though the elephants were damaging crops and killing people in villages bordering the forest area, no steps had been taken so far to provide adequate compensation to the affected people.

Mr B B Harichandan (BJP) and Ramesh Chandra Chou Patnaik (BJD) demanded the government to find out a permanent solution to it.

Mr Bharat Paik (BJP) and Mr Taraprasad Bahinipati(Cong) urged the Government to amend the Relief Code.

Mr Nrusingh Sahu (Cong) demanded the Government to raise the compensation amount for loss of crops from Rs 1000 to 10,000 per acre and a rule should be made to make the payment within two months.

Mr Rabi Narayan Naik (BJP) wanted the Government to impart training to the villagers and provide crackers to drive out the elephants.

Mr Niranjan Patnaik and Mr Mohan Majhi (both Cong) said the Government should consider protecting and conserving the elephant's habitat.

Mr Jaydev Jena (Cong) attributed the rise in elephant menance to loss of forest cover due to rapid industrialisation and urged the Government to direct the revenue department to amend the rule to pay adequate compensation to the victims.

Mr Sudhir Samal(BJD) said no compensation was paid if anyone was killed by an elephant 10 km away from the forest. He demanded the Forest and Revenue department to make a joint inquiry and make arrangement for compensation .

While the Balavadra Majhi(BJD) wanted a special package for the affected people, Mr Sambhunath Naik (Ind), CPI member N Narayan Reddy and BJP member Mahesh Sahu, Anup Sai, Gregory Minz (Cong) and Bir Sipka and Ms Anjali Behera(BJD) also demanded for a change in the Relief Code and adequate compensation to the victims.

Sharing his concern with the members, Speaker Maheswar Mohanty directed the Forest, Revenue and Disaster Management department to take adequate steps to resolve the problem.

UNI BD-DP SJC JT BD1947

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