Wildlife wardens having declared monkeys as vermin in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, the Communist Party Of India (CPI M) has lashed out at the state government and an animal lover’s association for betraying farmers and citizens who have been bearing the brunt from an overgrown simian population in the state for years.
The party officially stated that if one were to look at the statements delivered by them in the newspapers, it is quite clear that both the parties have no intention of saving the public from the menace of monkeys and are only serving their own interest.
Dr. Kuldeep Singh Tanwar, state CPI M committee member, targeted the Government, NGO’s and Forest Department by questioning their intentions.
Dr. Tanwar shed the light on the fact that 67% of the land of the state was under forest area and an NGO’s allegations of intrusion of public in forest areas were baseless.
In the state, 15% of the forest land are secure for animals, which comes under Protected Area Network and 17% is agricultural land, of which only 9% was worth cultivating, he said.
Dr. Tanwar pointed out that sterilization of monkeys had not shown any satisfactory results instead after sterilization campaign, the monkeys had became more aggressive and harmful for both people and crops. Also, the experiment of Primate Protection Park had failed miserably when union minister Jagat Prakash Nadda was the state forest minister and had declared about its failure on the floor of the state assembly.
Dr Tanwar, a former Indian Forest Officer who took premature retirement blamed the Forest Department for misleading the public about the number of monkeys as every time the figure of monkeys count came differently.
On behalf of CPM he demanded that the Forest Department make public the method they use for counting monkeys along with the area reports respectively.
He has also contested the government claim and asked the Forest Minister to make public about the fencing they had done which prevented monkeys from entering farms.
“First millions of public money have been spent on a failed monkey sterilization program and now they are preparing ground to waste another Rs 25 million,” said Kanwar.
Dr. Tanwar was also critical of animal lovers and pointed out that where out of 196 countries, in 195 countries scientific killing was used to control and manage wild animals then why it can’t be used in India. He also ridiculed the idea mooted ‘Dhyaan Foundation’, a Delhi based NGO which has proposed to feed monkeys of Shimla.
“Such animal lovers are only testing the patience of farmers and the general public. If there concerns for animal are genuine then they should first focus on protecting chickens, goats and pigs that are cut in millions daily,” said Dr Tanwar.
The government, Forest Department and the NGO’s have all failed to provide any relief from the menace of monkeys and also engulfed the million of rupees of public.
Meanwhile the Himachal Pradesh High Court today issued notice to the Union and State Government over declaring of monkey as vermin for the next six months in the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation, Shimla.
The division bench consisting of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan have directed Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Union of India, Chief Secretary, to the Government of Himachal Pradesh & Member Secretary of National Board of Wildlife to file reply within six weeks.
Rajeshwar Singh Negi, the petitioner, has challenged a notification issued by central government declaring monkey as vermin. The case has been listed for hearing on 3rd May, 2016.