Uttarakhand on lookout for vehicles ferrying monkeys

Dehra Dun : It’s no monkey business, but the problems that the simians are creating both in the urban and rural areas of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and the practice being adopted in the respective states to catch them and leave them in the adjoining state, is now taking serious proportions.

Uttarakhand had been at the receiving end of this for quite some time now as the wildlife and forest departments of the adjoining states were catching the monkeys, transporting them and leaving them, albeit on the quiet in the nearby forests of Uttarakhand. The simians, not used to eating from the trees in the wild would soon move over to the nearby towns, townships or villages, creating problems for the residents.

Official sources claimed that the practice had been going on for quite some time now and a number of complaints had been received from the villages and townships on the peripheries of the state, that vehicles from across the borders were leaving monkeys in the region, who were then creating various sorts of problems.

Monkey crossing Laxman Jhula Uttarakhand (Photo: Wikipedia)
Monkey crossing Laxman Jhula Uttarakhand (Photo: Wikipedia)

“Efforts were made to take up the issue at the official level and there were talks with the adjoining states, but none was willing to accept that they were leaving the trapped monkeys within Uttarakhand. Though the different states agreed that they were facing simian problems and were catching them in the cities, but claimed that they were leaving them in their own forests”, they added.

They said that as there was no way in which it could be proved that the simians were from either Himachal Pradesh or for that matter from Uttar Pradesh pr Punjab or Haryana, it had been decided that vigil would be kept at the various entry points  to this small hill state and any vehicles ferrying monkeys would be promptly turned back.

Sources said that the transport department had been asked to keep a vigil on the roads coming to the state with an eye whether they were ferrying monkeys into the state with the directions that the vehicle should be taken back to the state and the simians therein be released within the boundaries of that very state. They have also been told to ensure a 24-hour vigil as the practice could also occur at night, they pointed out.

It appears that with the central government yet to take a stand on allowing export of monkeys, and the people specially farmers not ready to kill them because of religious sentiments, the problem of leaving moneys by one state into the territory of another state, could snowball into a serious inter-state problem.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Hatash Kumayya

    Apart from local sensibility, monkeys (and wild pigs) are also protected under the Wild Life Act, so that they cannot be trapped or injured, leave alone killed. It says a lot about the somnolence of the administration that they are waking up now to the problem of illicit release of monkeys in the hill states by authorities in other states and Delhi. The monkeys are brought in covered trucks and vans into the interiors and released in their hundreds. These are attacking citizens and badly damaging hill agriculture and horticulture. Thousands of people have left their villages because of this and are forced to seek jobs in the plains. States like Uttarakhand and HP could have flooded the Indian markets with vegetables and fruits with lower prices, if there was better, intelligent governance.

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