BENGALURU: Commuters arriving at or departing from the Swami Vivekananda Road Metro station are experiencing a peculiar problem -- monkeys snatching away their bags, dupattas and mobiles. The problem has become quite rampant that it prompted Metro officials to put up notices at the station, warning the public about the presence of the simians.
“Beware of Monkeys,” read a few printouts in Kannada and English pasted near the steps leading to the elevated Platforms 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 that the primates are relocated, but to no avail.
TNIE has a copy sent from the station to the Forest office in Malleswaram, which reads: “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, explained a staffer, but added that they were not permitted to share them. A staffer said, “The problem was rampant at Halasuru station before Covid-19, but has shifted to the Swami Vivekananda Road station after trains began operated post-pandemic.”
A staffer 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 available food and throw the rest down from elevated platforms. The smartphone of a security guard was smashed to bits four months ago,” he said.
A Forest team came and spent a day here in a bid to catch the monkeys, but the latter did not make a 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 an 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.”