For the Ghaziabad residents, the mere mention of the word monkeys is enough to spread terror. Many have become the victims of rowdy monkey gangs that terrorise people, snatch food and fruits, attack children and the aged viciously. Complaints to the municipal authorities and civic bodies proved futile.
Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), that has developed many townships and green belts, has taken up the challenge to tackle monkey menace.
Among other programmes and plans lined up for the World Environment Day on June 5, Monday, is the commencement of GDA’s project to develop two ‘monkey parks’.
GDA Horticulture in-charge, SP Shishodia told City Spidey that the monkey parks will have their own food sources and fruit trees to lure the simians into this forested chunk of land from residential areas where they go hunting for food. He hoped that the monkey parks will help bring down the monkey menace in residential areas.
While one monkey park will come up at trans Hindon, the other one in CIS Hindon area, which will have Kalpvriksha trees. These trees are considered the trees of life.
GDA will hold several functions to celebrate the World Environment Day that include conducting several awareness drives and plantation programmes in different parts of the townships. The GDA is also firming up its plans for rehabilitation of green belts and development of parks.
On June 5, the City Forest, a green amusement destination developed by the GDA at Rajnagar, will host a painting competition for children. Several RWAs will be carrying out tree plantation programmes and take a pledge to protect environment.
The GDA is planning to mount huge display boards with environment protection messages all over the city.
The day will also mark the GDA’s reiteration of its resolve to fight encroachments and evict those who forcibly and illegally occupied its parks and forested areas. In all the areas freed from encroachments, the authority plans to plant trees to increase greenery of the city.
“First, we are concentrating on rehabilitation of green belts, which were grabbed by people. The encroachments have been removed and they will not be replaced with trees. We will also involve activists, RWAs and residents in the entire program,” said Shisodia.
The drives will be initially conducted in Rajnagar extension, Raj Nagar, Kavinagar, stretches near the railway line and will gradually move towards Indirapuram and its surrounding areas.
About private nurseries, the officer said, those which had approvals from the municipal corporation, will be left untouched provided they are maintained properly and add to the beauty of the green belts.
Also on the anvil is a programme to rehabilitate a park behind Mahamaya stadium with a view to save it from encroachers. The 28-acres park belongs to the municipal corporation and has been left unkempt for a long time. “We have already applied for an NOC to the municipal corporation and work will start once the certificate is issued,” said Shisodia.
Speaking to City Spidey, resident expressed happiness that at last the GDA woke up to encroachments. “It is a good thing that the GDA is taking up the issue. We have been pursuing this issue for a long time,” said Sanjay Goel, a Rajnagar resident.