New Delhi: Unsuccessful in dealing with the monkey menace despite trying several methods including power fencing and air guns, NDMC has now decided to go back to the traditional way of trapping apes in cages by luring them with food.
The areas under the jurisdiction of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) have around 8500 monkeys and the civic body has spent lakhs of rupees on adopting of several methods, the latest being power fencing, which was objected to by animal rights activists.
"We have tried several methods to deal with the monkey menace but all initiatives had to be later withdrawn due to objection from animal right activists. We have now decided to go back to the traditional method," a senior NDMC official told PTI.
"We will plant a cage where we find presence of monkeys and a monkey catcher will do the job of luring them with food items and trap them. The process is going to be tedious and time consuming but there aren't many options," he added.
The methods tried by NDMC to deal with the problem include hiring langur handlers, employees imitating the cries of langurs to scare them away, using air guns and rubber bullets.
In March this year, it had tried to cover buildings in its areas with a low-voltage electric tape incurring an expenditure of Rs 5,00,000 per building. However, throwing a spanner into the plan, an animal rights group had served a legal notice to the civic body to stop the process, contending it was in violation of the Wildlife Protection Act.
Earlier, the environment ministry had objected to deploying langurs terming it a violation of animal rights. The NDMC had then hired 40 people who used to imitate the cries of langurs to scare monkeys away. But that, too, failed in the long run.
"We are going to float fresh tenders soon for hiring monkey catchers, who will be paid per monkey basis. We will be sterilizing the monkeys caught and they will be sent to Asola wildlife sanctuary where we will also pay feeding charges for them," the official said.
"We have a few monkey catchers working for us and have caught 49 simians over the past three months. But we need to have more number professional catchers. For now we have three cages, we will buy more of them soon," he added.