Shimla: With just few days left for the Assembly election in Himachal Pradesh, monkey and wild animals menace is once again going to be a poll issue as state BJP president Satpal Singh Satti accusing the Congress government completing failing to tackle the menace. Satti said that crores were spent to catch the monkeys for sterlisation but their number continues to increase while on other side 45,000 families in the state were forced to abandon the faming on their agricultural land.
Satti alleged that in last five years, Congress government spent crores on sterilizing the monkeys but nothing came out as monkey catching remained only on papers. He said that now once again an agency has been hired to catch monkeys for which Rs 700 per monkey would be paid. He said that state forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri himself had tabled the information in state assembly that on catching monkeys Rs 4 crore was spent. “It seems there is scam in catching the monkeys for sterlisation,” he added.
He said that even monkeys are attacking people and many are losing their lives or getting seriously injured in such attacks. He said all this shows the insensitivity of Congress government towards farmers, fruit growers and common people. He said that BJP on coming to power would find permanent solution to the problem to safeguard the interest of farmers, fruit growers and common people.
To control the agricultural losses due to increase in the population of wild animals, state government had submitted a rs 200 crore proposal to Government of India on December 19 last year. Proposal submitted to Centre states that wildlife has been causing myriad of problems in the state, yet definitive data of the losses is pretty much difficult to compile. As per the official figures of the department of Agriculture losses to the tune of Rs 184.28 crores were assessed during the period 2013-14. Subsequent losses are expected to be in line with these figures too.
The department of Horticulture reported losses to the tune of Rs 150 crores in a period from 2006-11, implying thereby that extent of losses due to wild animals is on a massive scale when it concerns a small state like Himachal Pradesh.
Forest department in the proposal has submitted that crop depredation by large species like sambar has been on increase in the mid-hills of the state and lower belts like Una, Nalagarh, etc have been witnessing spurt in agriculture damages by the blue bulls. It said that Wild boar has been causing massive damage in its habitat which spreads from mid-hills to lower plains. Due to fast reproductive cycle and mass raiding, crop depredation is extensive in the vulnerable areas. Other species like parakeets, fruit bats, porcupines, Himalayan black bears etc. are also causing massive high-value agricultural and grain crop depredation, but definitive figures of losses caused aren’t available.
In order to rein in the impact and damage caused by macaques, they will be sterilised and housed in the Rescue Care for Life Care facilities which will be brought up in the state. If ten such facilities as build up earlier are brought up, it will help contain the menace.
Date : 28 October 2017