BENGALURU: Metro commuters arriving or departing from Swami Vivekananda Road (SV Road) Metro station are facing a peculiar problem: monkeys snatching away bags, dupattas or mobiles. To warn public, Metro officials at the station have put up notices alerting public to their presence.
'Beware of Monkeys' read a few printouts in Kannada and English pasted near the steps leading to the elevated Platforms of One and Two.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) staffers or their outsourced employees have shot off repeated letters to the Forest department to ensure the primates are sent away but they are still monkeying around.
The New Indian Express has a copy of one of them sent from the station to the Forest office in Malleswaram which reads thus: "Monkeys are snatching bags, mobiles and pulling the dupattas worn by women commuters. Many passengers are suffering because of them. If you threaten them, the monkeys get back at you ferociously."
Commuters have given written complaints at the station as well as filed complaints online, explains a staffer but added that they were not permitted to share them.
A staffer said, "The problem was rampant at Halasuru station before COVID but has shifted to the SV Road station after trains were operated post-COVID." It was one primate earlier but it has become three now, including two little ones, he adds.
A person on duty at the station said, "The monkeys may be a few but the menace they cause is quite something. They snatch bags, particularly from ladies, take out any food available and throw the rest down from these elevated platforms. The smart phone of a security guard was smashed to bits four months ago," he said.
The presence of open space with trees on one side (Isolation Hospital) of the station is stated to be a reason for their presence here.
A forest department team came and spent a day here in a bid to catch them but the Simians did not make their presence that day, a Metro source said. "No one knows when they will come and when they will leave. But we are all scared of them attacking us," he added.
A staffer at the station recounted a recent incident when a woman commuter screamed when her bag was taken away. "A male commuter lifted the fire extinguisher on the platform and sprayed it on the monkey. It dropped the bag and fled in fear," he said.