Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had in July last year raised concerns over the rising number of monkeys near the House. Fearing that they may harm the MLAs, he had asked corporations to catch the monkeys. But it seems there is no solution to the problem yet. Reason? There are hardly any Monkey catchers available for a full time job.
Corporation officials said that since monkey catching is not ‘profession’, they are unable to find a person who would be willing to do the job throughout the year. “A monkey catcher isn’t really a profession. At best, we get some migrant labourers who are willing to do this task. But the minute they get work elsewhere, they leave,” Yogender Mann, spokesperson of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) said.
Willing to hire then even on a payroll, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) had advertised for the jobs with a fixed monthly salary of Rs 15,000 against the earlier contractual policy of paying Rs 1,200 per day. But hardly have they got any takers for the offer.
Forest department officials blame the rapid urbanisation in Delhi as the main problem. They say that due to deforestation, monkeys have started living closer to the humans. “By 1990s, it was apparent that Delhi had a problem. Monkeys adapt to human conditions. Therefore, the government tried to shift the city’s monkeys to the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, but that has not solved the problem,” said the forest department official.
In July last year, a monkey had walked into the 70-member House when the proceedings in the Assembly were on in full swing.