Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister said that State Government would endeavour to develop primate parks to provide natural habitats to monkeys where natural food habits would be developed so that they were not forced to abandon their natural environment and damage crops of the farmers. He revealed this after inaugurating the first Primate Park for monkeys to be managed by the Wildlife Wing of State Forest Department at Tara Devi near Shimla today.
Prof. Dhumal said that with the increase in number of monkeys, the crops of farmers were being damaged. He said that monkey menace had attracted the attention of State Government since it related to the farm economy putting crops and related agricultural activities in danger. He said that many farmers had to discontinue farming due to monkey and wild animal menace. He said that it had been decided in consultation with the wildlife experts to develop two Primate Parks in the State on experimental basis one each in Shimla and Hamirpur districts. He said that beginning had been made with the opening of first Primate Park in the State at Tara Devi to create natural environment for monkeys.
Chief Minister said that State was concerned about religious sentiments of people hence had endeavoured to create such an atmosphere which was befitting to the religious sentiments of people and also protect the crops of the farmers. He said that State would encourage devotees to religiously participate in the endeavour of the Government and come forward with natural feed to monkeys in the Primate Parks. He said that to control the increasing number of monkeys, lazer sterilization was also being carried out with the help of local unemployed youth who would be trained in capturing monkeys from urban areas. He said that it also formed the part of election manifesto of the party which had been adopted as policy document of State Government. He directed the Wildlife authorities to keep strict vigil over the captivity of the monkeys in Primate Park and ensure that crops of farmers were not damaged in the surrounding areas.
Shri J.P. Nadda, Forest Minister, Shri Sohan Lal and Shri Virender Kanwar, MLAs, Shri Avay Shukla, Additional Chief Secretary, Shri J.S. Rana, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Dr. Pankaj Khullar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr. Prem Sharma, Director, Art, Language and Culture and Senior Officers of State Government were also present on the occasion.