With a nationwide lockdown in place, the one guests Kerala’s misty getaway Munnar will get today is a herd of untamed elephants.
Almost day-after-day, these pachyderms will be seen roaming on the streets like stray cattle. Local residents complain that these jumbos have vandalised retailers. Humans, say locals, haven’t been attacked until date.
Elephants roaming the streets.
A frightened forest division has determined to depute a few forest wardens within the city.
“It is free run for jumbos in Munnar these days. Earlier they used to come to estates but now with movement of people and vehicles restricted, they enter the town easily. They raided at least five vegetable shops in the last three days,” mentioned senior journalist MJ Babu, who hails from the realm. He mentioned preferrred circumstances helped the jumbos to roam round freely and native residents have named a few of the frequent guests Padayappa, Kutti Komban, Ganesan, amongst others.
Angry residents are actually planning an agitation to scare away these pachyderms. “With no tourists around, we are finding it difficult to piece together our lives. Raiding jumbos have made our life more miserable. What is disturbing is that their numbers are on the rise these days,” mentioned TK Shaji, an area shopkeeper.
Two days in the past, Youth Congress activists held a dharna in entrance of the forest warden’s workplace demanding steps to push back animals. “We have deployed six forest wardens in Munnar and surrounding areas. They will track the movement of jumbos and chase them away using crackers and high-power lights,” mentioned a senior forest officer of the realm.