Residents of Shipra Suncity in Indirapuram rued about increasing monkey menace in their residential compound. RWA members of both the phases of the compound have said that apart from the constant threat of physical harm, attempts to solve the problem also sucks out a significant amount of money from their coffers every year. These primates have grievously injured a teenage resident and caused harm to other residents.
“We get around five to six calls regarding monkey trouble every day. While some residents complain about monkeys scaring children, others complain about monkeys entering homes and snatching food,” said a management staff of Shipra Sun City Phase 2.
Unable to beat them out or chase them with the help of langoors for the fear of violating stringent animal rights laws, RWA members have hired ‘monkey chasers’- boys who make Langoor sounds to chase away monkeys.
Ali and his brother Naushad are employed by the RWA of Sun City phase 2 at a fixed salary (for each) of rupees twenty two thousand per month. “The monkeys run away the moment they hear the sound of a langoor. We make the sounds with our mouth and they run away,” Ali said.
Only day before , a 15-year old boy was grievously injured after falling off the terrace of a building. He was being chased by monkeys.
“We have run from pillar to post with the authorities about the issue but we do not have any solution so far. The municipal corporation does not provide services in Indirapuram as the area is maintained by GDA. The GDA does not provide animal control services. At times we are at our wit’s end regarding this monkey menace,” said Rakesh Gangwar, general secretary of Sun City Phase 2 RWA.
Similar experiences were shared by KK Tripathi, vice president of Sun City Phase 1 RWA. “Scared by monkeys my wife Madhuri (67) fell down on the road and injured her hip joint and shoulder," he informed.
On March 12, Ghaziabad social forestry department permitted the local municipal councillor to catch and release monkeys only if the conditions of catching wild animals set by the forest department were met.
However, RWA members maintained that despite bringing in a team of professional monkey catchers from Mathura, they could not catch a single monkey. According to monkey chasers employed in the society, there are over 22 monkeys who keep shifting from phase 1 to phase 2.
“We are tired of these monkeys. People have covered their balconies with nets, they do not let their children out. Senior citizens are scared of going to the market alone. This problem is not going away,” said RN Rai, RWA member of Sun City phase 1.
On being contacted Asha Sharma, mayor of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation said that the complaints of residents are genuine.
“I too am suffering from the problem as groups of monkeys hang out in parks near my house. We are working in this direction. However, we require permissions from the forest department to release them away from the city in forest areas. We have called in several teams of monkey catchers. We will meet one such team from Haryana on March 20. We have requested the forest department to allow us to release these captured monkeys at least 20 kms away from the city. We cannot also sterilize them since monkeys are considered holy and it might hurt religious sentiments” Sharma said.