To curb the growing monkey menace the municipal corporation and the wildlife forest department have installed an ultrasonic repeller at the Central Telegraph Office building on an experimental basis to chase the marauding simians away.
"Faced with the growing monkey menace we were looking at various ways to tackle the problem. We have now installed an ultrasonic monkey repeller at the CTO building on the Mall, Shimla. If it proves a success it can be used in other areas to drive away the monkey menace. The machine will help to scare away the monkeys in an area of 1000 square feet," deputy mayor Tikender Singh Panwar said.
chief conservator of the forest department's wildlife wing, PL Chauhan, said: "We have installed two machines to be operated on an experimental basis for 15 days. Besides, the behavior of the monkeys is being closely observed by CCTV cameras. Three teams have been set up to study the behavior pattern of the monkeys near the place where the machine has been installed."
"Each team comprises a Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Assistant Conservator Forest (ACF), deputy ranger and forest guard who are keeping a constant watch and studying the behavioral pattern on a given format provided. The teams have been assigned the job to keep a watch on daily basis in routine from 8 am to 1.00 pm and 1.00 pm to 6.00 pm," Chauhan added.
Elaborating on the details and functioning of the machine he said the machine emitted high-intensity ultrasonic sound waves of 20-50 kHz frequency. "The pressure is around 110 - 130 decibels, which is not harmful to humans but causes discomfort to monkeys which feel languorous. As a result monkeys find it difficult to stay in such radiated areas. On day one the response appears to be good", he said.
Chauhan said the idea had been evolved from telecom companies like BSNL that have managed to keep monkeys at bay from the antennas installed to save them from damage. "Even some states like Gujarat and Goa have adopted such a technology. However, our targets are different," he added.
According to 2013 census Himachal has a population of over 200,000 monkeys. Shimla alone is a home to about 1,400 simians.
The monkey menace had become a major issue in the state and to bring down the count of monkey population the state had even adopted sterilization of the simian population, however it has not shown much of immediate visible results.