Monkey menace haunts Chandigarh's northern sectors, MC to get staff trained : The Tribune India

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Monkey menace haunts Chandigarh's northern sectors, MC to get staff trained

Writes to Forest Department to train workers in catching simians in city

Monkey menace haunts Chandigarh's northern sectors, MC to get staff trained

A monkey near the main gate of DAV School at Sector 8 in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Vicky



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, April 22

With monkeys continuing to trouble residents of northern sectors, the Municipal Corporation has written to the UT Forest Department to train its staff in catching simians and releasing these into forest areas.

The civic body had earlier hired two mimickers, who make calls of langurs to scare away monkeys. More such mimickers will be hired in the coming days after seeing the efficacy of this step.

The mimickers were hired after the responsibility of catching monkeys in the city had been transferred to the MC, as the animal has been removed from the list of protected species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (as amended in 2022). Earlier, the Forest Department had the responsibility of catching monkeys.

However, there has been no respite from the monkey menace. Residents of northern sectors and those living near the forest area are at the receiving end of the problem. Monkeys take away household goods, break pots, damage plants and even attack residents.

“The menace is quite prominent in Sector 8. The residents living close to the DAV school are a harried lot. Packs of simians keep hanging around on trees here. They even attack kids and charge at people who try to scare them away,” said a senior citizen of Sector 8.

Local residents said the helpline was of not much a help. “Though the forest wing staff come to the spot in response to complaints, they fail to catch the monkeys. A permanent solution needs to be worked out,” said a resident.

Councillor Maheshinder Singh Sidhu, whose ward comprises Sectors 1-10, where the menace is quite prominent, said, “The increasing green cover in the city, indeed, attracts simians, especially in the northern sectors. Although the Forest Department is quick in responding to complaints, the only solution they have is to scare monkeys away, which is like transferring the problem from one part of a sector to another. The MC is also experimenting by hiring langur mimickers, the success of which is yet to be analysed.”

Another councillor, Harpreet Kaur Babla, residents of whose ward comprising Sectors 27, 28 and 29 are also majorly affected due to the monkey menace, said, “It is a big menace. Sometimes, monkeys enter premises and people have to lock themselves inside. In parks, senior citizens are also getting injured. Since, the job has now been transferred to the MC, a proper strategy to fight the menace needs to be chalked out. With stray dogs and monkeys around, can we call it Smart City or City Beautiful?”

In areas of Panjab University, PGI complex, Sectors 1-11, 13, 22, 23, 27, 28, 30 and others, monkeys continue to trouble residents. The Forest Department had conducted the first census of monkeys in December 2022. It pegged the number of monkeys at 1,326 — 594 in Panjab University, followed by 200 in Sector 1, 88 in Sector 28 and 75 in Sector 27.

Worst-affected areas

In areas of Panjab University, PGI complex, Sectors 1-11, 13, 22, 23, 27, 28, 30 and others, monkeys continue to trouble residents.

2022 census pegs No. at 1,326

The Forest Department had conducted the first census of monkeys in December 2022. It pegged the number of monkeys at 1,326 — 594 in Panjab University, followed by 200 in Sector 1, 88 in Sector 28 and 75 in Sector 27.

Helpline not much of a help

Local residents said the helpline was of not much a help. “Though the forest wing staff come to the spot in response to complaints, they fail to catch the monkeys. A permanent solution needs to be worked out,” said a resident.

Sec 8 residents harried lot

The menace is quite prominent in Sector 8. The residents living close to the DAV school are a harried lot. Packs of simians keep hanging around on trees here. They even attack kids and charge at people who try to scare them away, said a senior citizen of Sector 8

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