Monkey menace: Surgical sterilisation not possible, Delhi govt to HC

NEW DELHI: Surgical sterilisation is not working on monkeys and even professional monkey catchers are not coming forward to help control their menace, the Delhi government told the Delhi High Court on Friday.

The city government was making submissions on a plea seeking records from the state on the funds sanctioned by the Centre and spent to curb the monkey menace.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad asked petitioner Shashwat Bhardwaj, a lawyer, to place on record a copy of an earlier order of the high court in which certain directions were issued while dealing with the lingering problem caused by monkeys in Delhi.

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on March 22.

The petitioner has also sought setting up of a committee of senor bureaucrats, wildlife experts and members of the Bar who have extensively worked for animal rights to ensure effective implementation of the high court directions, particularly with regard to New Delhi.

During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi said the state has received funds from the Centre for the purpose and a tender was floated for hiring monkey catchers but nobody came forward.

The counsel contended surgical sterilisation of monkeys is not possible and such endeavours have not been successful in many parts of the country. He said oral contraceptive pills are administered to monkeys in captivity but these tablets have their own side effects.

The plea said the New Delhi region has seen an alarming infestation of the simian population and consequential increase in monkey bite cases.

It said monkeys can be seen roaming around freely and snatching food from visitors near the high court canteen, posing a threat to their life and safety.

In 2007, the high court had issued a slew of directions to all civic agencies for freeing the capital of the simian scourge within three months.

The bench, then headed by retired justice Swatanter Kumar, had laid down a three-month time frame for shifting all monkeys from the city to a specially chalked out area near Bhati mines. It had said their food will be collected at designated centres from where it would be sent to Bhati.

It had also said 25 per cent of the simian population of the city can be sterilised by government agencies. The monkey, however, has still not got off the city's back.

( Source : PTI )
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