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Delhi’s Rs 23-crore plan to sterilise 25,000 monkeys

Unique identification numbers would be tattooed on the sterilised monkeys so that they could be identified later.

delhi Updated: Aug 23, 2018 02:47 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Joydeep Thakur
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
sterilise,monkey menace,forest department
As there is no official data on Delhi’s monkey population, the state forest department will undertake a preliminary census to estimate the number of monkeys, areas from where the maximum complaints related to monkey attacks have poured in and problematic groups among others. (Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

The state forest department has prepared a draft plan to sterilise around 25,000 monkeys in Delhi over a period of three years at a cost of Rs 23 crore.

Unique identification numbers would be tattooed on the sterilised monkeys so that they could be identified later.

“A draft plan to sterilise around 25,000 monkeys in the next three years has been sent to the union environment and the forest ministry. It would cost around Rs 23 crore. A tender has been floated to invite quotations from agencies to implement the project,” said Iswar Singh, chief wildlife warden of Delhi.

As there is no official data on Delhi’s monkey population, the department will undertake a preliminary census to estimate the number of monkeys, areas from where the maximum complaints related to monkey attacks have poured in and problematic groups among others.

The union ministry has asked the forest department to prepare yearly plans for the entire three-year period. The plan was prepared by a committee headed by Singh. It was formed by the Supreme Court in May 2018.

“As per the annual plans, we would target around 8,000 monkeys in the first year. In the second and third year, we plan to target around 8,500 monkeys each year,” said a forest official.

The plan is to catch an entire group of monkeys in one go so that individual simians do not get separated. Monkeys, when separated from their groups, become ferocious.

“Trapping won’t be done on the first day itself. A huge cage, which can accommodate an entire group, would be placed in the neighbourhood and the monkeys would be fed regularly inside it. They would be watched and when they get used to it and the entire group starts entering the cage to feed, they would be trapped,” said an official.

The matured individuals will be identified in the group and sterilised in mobile operation theatres.

After a few hours, the entire group will be released in the same area at the same time.

“As the project will be carried out in phases over the next three years, the sterilised monkeys would be tattooed with a unique identification number to tell if it has been sterilised, the location and the group,” said the official.

The Agra Development Authority and the Agra District Administration with the help of a NGO had launched a similar sterilisation project in Agra to control the monkey population in 2015 .

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 02:47 IST