To scare away monkeys, the The Municipal Corporation (MC) has hired men who make langur calls. Two of them have been deployed at Sector 28 from where the MC had received a large number of complaints relating to the monkey menace.
The corporation has made this arrangement on a pilot basis. If successful, the practice will be extended to other sectors too.
Local councillor Harpreet Kaur Babla said, “People in Sectors 27 and 28 have been inconvenienced due to a large number of monkeys often straying into the area. These monkeys enter houses and courtyards, and take away household goods. Residents complained to me several times, following which I requested the MC Commissioner to, at least, hire experts who make langur calls. Though it is a temporary measure, it is very effective.”
While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Municipal Commissioner Anindita Mitra said, “Following several complaints from the area councillor about people getting harassed, we have hired two men who mimic langur calls. If results are fruitful, we will start the practice in other affected sectors.” However, many residents feel the UT Forest Department, whose job is to catch monkeys and release these in the wild, needs to strengthen its monkey-catching drive. City-based activist and environmentalist LR Budania said, “No proper effort is being made by the UT Administration to catch and release these in the jungle. They need to find out why they have not been able to curb the menace and show the results.” Councillor Maheshinder Singh Sidhu said, “Effective steps are lacking to curb the animal-human conflict. The monkeys have become so used to some vulnerable spots that they do not fear people and instead scare them while taking away household goods. We need to stop this before the situation takes a nasty turn.”
Officials of the forest wing feel it is due to fruit-bearing trees that a large number of simians come to the city. Sector 28 is affected the most as an orchard belt exists in Sector 29 and 28. Officials, however, requested the residents to not to feed them. “Some people are mostly found feeding monkeys, mainly out of religious reasons,” said an official.
The first census conducted by the Forest Department in December last year logged 1,326 monkeys in different parts of the city. At 594, the highest concentration was in Sector 14 (Panjab University), followed by 200 in Sector 1, 88 in Sector 28 and 75 in Sector 27. The department claims they catch about 150 monkeys annually and has placed nets at 25 vulnerable spots to catch simians.
Dec census logged 1,326 monkeys
The first census conducted by the Forest Department in December last year logged 1,326 monkeys. The highest concentration in sectors as follows:
Sector 14 (PU): 594
Sector 1: 200
Sector 28: 88
Sector 27: 75
Forest officials cite orchard belt
Officials of the forest wing said Sector 28 is affected the most as an orchard belt exists in Sector 29 and 28. “Some people are mostly found feeding monkeys, mainly out of religious reasons,” said an official.