Himachal Pradesh government urges Centre to declare monkeys 'vermin' for 1 more year

With the six-month period of monkeys  being declared \'vermin\' within the Shimla Municipal  Corporation (SMC) limits coming to an end on September 14, the  Himachal Pradesh government has urged the Union Ministry of  Environment and Forests (MoEF) to extend it by another year, officials said today.         

Published: 30th August 2016 06:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2016 06:38 AM   |  A+A-

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By PTI

SHIMLA: With the six-month period of monkeys  being declared 'vermin' within the Shimla Municipal  Corporation (SMC) limits coming to an end on September 14, the  Himachal Pradesh government has urged the Union Ministry of  Environment and Forests (MoEF) to extend it by another year, officials said today.            

During the six-month period starting March 14, no monkey  was killed, the state government has told the Union ministry,  claiming that necessary arrangements were now in place to deal  with the menace. 

The MoEF had declared monkeys 'vermin' for six months in  relaxation of section 62 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and the state government has now urged it to extend the  period by one more year, officials said.            

The state government has started preparing a "comprehensive plan" to deal with the monkey menace and also  to check their growing population, posing a threat to the  lives and livelihood of the citizens, they added. 

The issue was raised during the Monsoon Session of the  Assembly and the members, cutting across party lines, demanded  that the Forest Department set up a task force for killing  monkeys, which had destroyed crops and forced farmers to  abandon cultivation at several places in the state.         

The monkey census of July, 2015 revealed that there were  about 2,452 of the animals within the SMC limits and eight  forest beats -- Jakhu, Summer Hill, Glen, Kaithu, Khalini,  Fagli, Tuti Kandi and Bharari -- were identified as "endemic  areas".     

It was on the basis of data provided by the Wildlife  Department about concentration of monkeys in certain pockets  that the MoEF had declared the species -- Rhesus Macaque --  vermin within the SMC limits.             

Principal Secretary (Forest and Environment) Tarun Kapoor  said the department was looking at the issue in a  "comprehensive" manner.   

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