The Aralam Farming Corporation continues to face economic losses as raiding wild elephants create havoc and destroy crops inside the farm.
Fearing for their lives, many farmers are refusing to come to work. With jumbos destroying the crops and the corporation being unable to harvest their produce, losses are mounting for the company.
D.R. Meghashree, managing director, Aralam Farming Corporation, said that so far they have claimed a compensation of ₹37 crore from the Forest department for the losses incurred.
“We have now strictly ordered the workers to work in groups. They are assisted by a few security personnel,” she said.
In addition to facing trouble in harvesting their cashew plantation, the company is unable to tap around 6,000 rubber trees. Coconut trees are also being destroyed by the elephants.
Ms. Meghashree said that they have to find a way to raise ₹50 lakh per month for operational works and to disburse salaries of workers. They have not been able to pay the workers for the past six months, she added.
The issue has been brought to the notice of the government multiple times by sending reminders through the tribal department and the Chief Secretary. Since it is a huge amount, the government has to make a decision on it, she added.
Meanwhile, the workers here allege that the Forest department is taking no action to chase away the elephants back into the forest.
With increasing heat and easy availability of food inside the farm, the elephants are continuing their raids, they said.
Clearing thick vegetation in Block three of tribal settlement areas has forced elephants to seek shelter in the farm, they added.