Shimla, May 25: The state government has requested the Centre to declare monkeys vermin again for more time in the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) and 38 tehsils. But uncertainty looms as not even a single simian has been killed during this period, which expired on May 24.
The possibility of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest acceding to the demand of the state government is, however, bleak. “We have sent the case of both Shimla MC and 38 other tehsils for continuing the period as the problem persists,” said Tarun Kapoor, Additional Chief Secretary, Forest and Environment.
He added that the reminders had been sent and the matter was being pursued but a positive response was still awaited.Sources said the ministry had sought a progress report from Himachal with regard to killing of monkeys.“We have informed the Centre that though no monkey was killed, the intention was not to undertake mass killing, but to have a psychological impact and provide relief to farmers,” said Kapoor.
The fact that almost six months were wasted as the matter had been pending in the High Court was also brought to the notice of the Centre. Monkeys were initially declared vermin in Shimla for six months on March 29, 2016, and after the lapse of the period, the time limit was increased till May 24.Over 1.25 lakh monkeys have been sterilised at eight centres of the Forest Department. Though the latest monkey census in 2015 indicated a decline of almost 18,000 over the previous figure of 2.36 in 2013, few are willing to accept this figure.
Source Tribune India