Farmers are eagerly awaiting their crop compensation in villages falling in and around Palamu tiger reserve. Standing crop and harvested crop both are destroyed and damaged by herd of elephants. Standing crop is raided by herd of pachyderms in the fields while harvested crop stored in barns which are always open and vulnerable is also destroyed by elephants.
Sources said July to December every year is the vulnerable months of crop destruction by elephants. Betla and Garu ranges of Palamu tiger reserve are the most vulnerable ranges from the point of view of the elephant raiding and destroying crop. Bareysarn, Chhipadohar, Kutku and Mahuadarn ranges too are not free of the elephant menace.
Sources said the destruction of crop is done by two kinds of elephants. In Betla range it is PTR’s elephants that destroy the crop mostly.
It is true of Garu, Bareysarn ranges as well but there are instances where herd of Chhatisgarh elephants also has caused destruction of crop and houses in villages falling in and around PTR.
Sources said crop destruction and damages of houses/ huts by elephants go together in villages here in PTR.
Dr Mohan Lal field director PTR said, “PTR has received Rs 14 lakh this outgoing financial year for compensation purposes. Compensation comes for crop loss, hut loss and life loss. Even where wild life like elephant, bear, wild boar etc has maimed any one compensation is to be paid for it by way of providing the victim adequate treatment and for his upkeep till he is back to normality.”
A hectare loss of crop by wild life has 20,000 rupees as compensation. Similarly loss of cattle by wild life gets Rs 15,000 as compensatory amount.
The Field Director said, “I have asked our rangers to see that compensation is not made to linger. This causes resentment. This we have to dilute by all means.” Sources said PTR officials have paid compensation for crop loss episodes of the last financial year 2017 -18 in this financial year 2018 -19.
Asked that payment of compensation comes too late say by 6 to 9 months after the commission of destruction/ damage etc Lal said this year PTR has disbursed around Rs 6 lakhs as compensation.
38 farmers in Betla range have filed their petitions for compensation this year. Similarly Garu range which is split in two East range and West range has a total of 70 to 80 similar petitions of farmers for compensation. Bareysarn, Chhipadohar, Kutku and Mahuadarn ranges have in all less than two dozen petitions of farmers for compensation said sources.
Sources said compensation was paid in cash till now in PTR which from this year is to be credited into bank accounts of the victim farmers of PTR. Here there is one more twist. Compensation is given to those only in whose name the ‘ Lagan’ is paid and its payment receipt is up to date that is no back log of Lagan. But if the crop is of the share cropper read Bataidaar and not of the land owner then in that event compensation for crop loss or damage is not due to the share cropper.
It is upto the land owner to give the compensation to the share cropper.