Now, solar powered electric fences to keep monkeys away
Marauding monkeys have been a perennial concern for successive state governments that have devised various strategies from setting up primate parks to sterilizing the simians to resolve the problem, all of which have proved to be unsuccessful. That is, until scientists at the University of Horticulture & Forestry at Solan came up with a seemingly surefire solution - a solar powered electric fence to protect fields of farmers, scores of whom have been forced to abandon their farmlands due to the menace.
Two years ago the experimental farm of the varsity's fruit science department was fenced in with a 1,725 metre solar powered electric barbed wires to ward off wild animals.
"Over the years setting up new stonefruit plantations in mid altitude areas of the state has become increasing problematic besides being more expensive due to the menace of monkeys and wild animals. Ever since the experimental farm was fenced not a single monkey has been sighted in the area.
Earlier four people were stationed there round the clock to protect the orchards from monkeys, porcupines and wild boars. The solar powered fence has helped the university to raise more than 2,000 plants of different stonefruits. The fence has proved to be highly effective in keeping marauding monkeys away besides being cost effective, "the varsity's vice chancellor, Vijay Singh Thakur, told this reporter.
The state agriculture department has now drawn up plans to erect similar solar powered electric fences to protect its farms located in the state. "Such fences are very effective in warding off wild animals. We've earmarked Rs 64 lakh for setting them up in four different farmlands," additional chief secretary (agriculture) Upma Chawdhary said.
A study conducted two years ago by an NGO, Gyan Vigyan Samiti, found about 2,301 villages had been affected by the wild animal menace, causing losses of Rs 400 crore to Rs 500 crore every year.
According to a census conducted in 2004 the population of monkeys in the state was 317,112 but the figure dropped to 226,086 in the last census held in 2012.
Nationalist Congress Party leaders Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik and Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who have been arrested in money laundering cases by the Enforcement Directorate, are now lodged in Arthur Road Jail in three different barracks. Malik, who was arrested in February in a money laundering case, is currently admitted to the Criti Care Hospital in Kurla for treatment. He is admitted to a private hospital for the last two months.
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday terminated four employees from service, including the son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and wife of former militant Bitta Karate - amid probe over terror links, officials said on Saturday. Dr Muheet Ahmad Bhat, and Majid Hussain Qadiri - both of them linked to the University of Kashmir - are the two others employees who have been sacked.
Suspected militants targeted paramilitary CRPF with a grenade in Srinagar on Saturday, just a day ahead of Independence Day. A CRPF personnel was injured in the attack in the Old City, Eidgah. Srinagar police said that the CRPF personnel received minor injuries in the attack. Local reports said that the grenade was lobbed towards a CRPF bunker in Eidgah in which a sub-inspector of the CRPF was wounded.
Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said that within a year government will push the last nail in the coffin of terrorism. Sinha today laid the foundation stone of 25 District Development Council and Block Development Council buildings in J&K, besides inaugurating 1000 Amrit Sarovars across J&K UT, in a function at SKICC, Srinagar.
IAS officer Shah Faesal who had resigned from his job and reinstated in April has been posted as deputy secretary in the Union Ministry of Tourism. He was detained at the Delhi airport on August 4, 2019, a day before Parliament pushed through constitutional changes, revoking Article 370 and 35A that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the erstwhile state into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.