Thursday, May 03, 2007

MCD cracks down on those feeding monkeys, 205 fined

To curb the menace of stray monkeys in the Capital, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has begun a crackdown on people who feed monkeys.

The MCD’s veterinary department has fined 205 people, mainly from the ridge areas in the city, over the last six weeks, officials said.

According to MCD officials, devotees of Hanuman visit the ridge areas on Saturdays and Tuesdays, to feed the monkeys in honour of the monkey god.

“Our officers are stationed at each ridge — northern, central and the Tughlaqabad ranges — and have been fining violators. The fine amount is decided by the metropolitan magistrate,” said a senior MCD official. The challan amount varies between Rs 50 and Rs 100, depending on the nature of offence.

The Delhi High Court has been closely monitoring efforts and activities of the municipal and forest authorities to control the monkey menace in the city. The MCD, meanwhile, has been advertising the ban on feeding monkeys in newspapers since the last three months.

“Three special baskets have been placed at three main Hanuman temples in the city—in Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Chandni Chowk and Chattarpur. Devotees can put food for the monkeys in those,” added an official. The food collected would be transported to Asola in Bhatti Mines, he added.

The MCD has been sending all monkeys caught in the city to Asola, where monkeys from the Rajokri shed were sent earlier.

Meanwhile, the civic body has issued tenders for hiring monkey contractors. “The tenders were issued last month, but there has been no response. We are now seeking help from NGOs but even they are reluctant,” said the official, adding that the civic body has one monkey catcher, who is given Rs 450 for every monkey he catches.

Story here.

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