Mon­key men­ace puts Dahisar res­i­dents on edge

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Vi­rat A Singh vi­rat. singh@ dnain­dia. net

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.

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