Monkey menace puts Dahisar residents on edge
For the past 15 days, some Dahisar residents, who want to ensure that the trouble they are facing due to a few monkeys is resolved without a conflict, have been forced to run from pillar to post by the forest department in vain.
Residents from four to five buildings on the Dahisar Link Road are being forced to live with their windows shut as monkeys have suddenly appeared in the area and were found entering the kitchens and flats in search of food.
According to Harish Pandey, secretary of Prithvi Palace society, around 15 days back they spotted several monkeys climbing up with the help of scaffolding. “I visited Sanjay Gandhi National Park ( SGNP) in Borivli and met officials, they asked me to submit a letter,” said Pandey, adding that on August 12, they submitted a letter and the official asked them to contact the control room at the gate, assuring them that staff will be sent to catch the monkeys.
However, residents who called up the SGNP control room were in for a shock when the staff told them that they will have to contact the Thane forest control room as the matter did not fall under SGNP’s purview.
“We did not understand why SGNP staff would first ask us to submit a letter to them and later tell us that it does not fall under their purview. In fact, the control room simply gave us a number of one private rescuer Hakim Shaikh; we contacted him four days back, he is yet to turn up,” said a resident, adding that there seemed to be no accountability as to who is responsible to resolve the menace in the city.
A resident of Atlanta building, David Soosay, said several residents, including senior citizens and children were the most worried. “Several residents are concerned as the monkeys have been found squeezing through safety grilles and entering houses. People with young children and infants are very scared,” he added.
Pandey said the forest department has only one solution, it asks us to light crackers to scare them, but eveb that does not seem to be working. “We are asking all residents not to feed the monkeys, not even throw anything at them to shoo them away. All we want is that the monkeys be safely trapped and released in their natural habitat,” he added.
A senior forest official said they have limited staff as well as their rescue team does go and trap monkeys at times, but it was not possible always and, hence, they had to depend on private rescuers. “We have been asking that the BMC put in place special staff who will be trained by the forest department and will be responsible for trapping such monkeys, but the civic body has been ignoring it,” said the official.