Shimla: Struggling to contain the population of simians, the central government has agreed to assist Himachal by financing various programs undertaken to contain the monkey menace and agreed to upgrade the Shimla monkey sterilization centre into a national training centre, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal disclosed.
The union minister of environment and forests has agreed to finance programs to contain the monkey population, said Dhumal, after the union ministry consented to the states demand today.
The state government had approached the central for help in checking the monkey menace by funding the projects initiated. Several high level meeting between state and central government officials were held to apprise the concerned authorities about the problems, especially that being faced by farmers.
The union ministry has agreed to develop Tutikandi Monkey Sterilization Centre into a national training centre, where people from other states could also be trained. The cost of the training centre would be borne by the union government, said the chief minister.
Having developed expertise in sterlization of monkeys, another such sterilization centre at a cost of Rs 1.90 crore was being set up in Una.
Financial assistance would be provided for development of research projects in primatology, as well as monkey census operations, both of which were essential in order to devise a proper strategy for controlling the monkey problem.
The centre has also agreed to fund setting up of additional primate parks in the state on need basis of the local communities.
Citing the many problems being faced by the farming community, Dhumal said that many farmers had left cultivating fertile lands because of the increasing population of monkeys who were damaging crops.
Different farming organizations have been the government for finding a lasting solution to protect farming activities in the monkey affected rural areas.
To contain the monkey population sterilization centres had been set up in Shimla, Hamirpur and Una districts.
To contain the monkey in a natural habitat, the forest department had experimented with setting up Primate Parks.