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Sterilising 25,000 rhesus monkeys: Project gets zero response

The Delhi High Court, which has been directly monitoring the progress by the department for the last one year, will take up the case in January.

Published: 14th December 2018 01:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2018 11:49 AM   |  A+A-

Monkey photo used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

Monkey photo used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The government’s ambitious plan to sterilise around 25,000 rhesus monkeys over a period of next three years in order to control their increasing population seems to have hit a roadblock. With no response to the request for proposals (RFP) floated by the Department of Forest and Wildlife in the last three months, the department has submitted its report to the Delhi High Court seeking further directions.

“We have floated the tender twice and there has been no response from any organisations in the field. We will float the tender once more but we have submitted our report to the Delhi High Court in November stating the same fact. Now the court will give us further directions,” said Ishwar Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests, who is heading the committee working on the programme.

The Delhi High Court, which has been directly monitoring the progress by the department for the last one year, will take up the case in January. The forest department along with the National Institute of Immunology has been working on a plan of immuno-contraception to control the monkey menace. The contraceptive for this has been imported from Africa, where it is used on Elephants, the lab test of the contraception has been done but it is still waiting for field trial. 

Monkey menace is plaguing all the metros in the nation and many measures to combat this issue have failed. Since sterilisation of monkeys is painful and has minimum impact, immuno-contraception was the method shown by the court. Hence the project holds significance as Delhi was chosen for pilot project.

Officials are surprised that even non-governmental organisations such as Wildlife SOS, which is a key player in animal population caretaking has not shown any interest. The NGO was also part of the government’s sterilisation programmes in Agra three years ago. It is also part of the court-appointed committee constituted specifically for this matter. According to the current procedure, monkeys caught by the authorities are sent to Asola Wildlife Sanctuary, but in the last few years the population of the animals has grown exponentially and breaching limit of the sanctuary. 

Monkey census As there is no official data on Delhi’s monkey population, department will undertake a preliminary census to estimate their number; draft policy talked about targeting around 8,000 monkeys in the first year.



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