New Delhi: ‘Monkey menace’ has reached epic proportions in India. So pronounced is the problem of monkeys, that they have even derailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans of making his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi Wi-Fi-enabled.
According to ‘Down to Earth’, a publication of the Centre for Science and Environment, monkeys are also causing extensive damage to the agriculture sector in India, which is already suffering from low productivity due to extreme weather events such as unseasonal rains.
The National Institute of Disaster Management stated that Himachal Pradesh has lost farm produce worth Rs.500 crore annually due to wild animals, including monkeys.
O P Bhuraita, of the Kheti Bachao Andolan, said that between 2007 and 2012 the state lost crops worth 2,200 crore due to monkeys.
According to the state wildlife department, the population of monkeys in Himachal Pradesh between 1990 and 2004 increased from 61,000 to 317,000.
Several northern and southern states are struggling to contain the assaults by monkeys.
A statement made by the Jammu and Kashmir agriculture minister in 2013, said that 250 villages in Jammu lose farm produce worth Rs 33 crore every year because of attacks by wild monkeys.
The story of Uttarakhand is similar with village residents opting to sell their farmlands than grow crops.
In 2010, farmers of Chainpur and Saharsha in Bihar formed an association, ‘Bandar Mukti Abhiyan Samiti’, to pressurise politicians to act.
According to experts, monkeys have a higher life expectancy and are procreating more and assured food and safety has left them with more time for procreation and better chances of survival. (ANI)