New Delhi, May 31 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked a committee, set up on its orders to develop an action plan to control the monkey population, to spell out the estimated expenditure on sterlisation of 25,000 simians in the city for the time being. Also Read - WhatsApp Policy Row: It's Voluntary, Use Some Other App if Not Acceptable, Says Delhi High Court
The court also accepted the timeline placed by the Delhi government’s wildlife warden for the sterlisation process of monkeys in the national capital, where their estimated population could be up to one lakh, and said the authorities should be bound by it. Also Read - Delhi High Court Allows Opening of Spas in National Capital with Appropriate Safe Guards
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the committee, comprising a member each from NGO Wildlife SOS and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), to complete the process of calculating the estimated expenditure and place it before the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) which will take a decision on it in four weeks. Also Read - Delhi HC Makes Exception, Allows 28-Week Pregnant Woman to Terminate Her Foetus
The court also noted that a complete census of monkey population is yet to be done.
The wildlife warden submitted an affidavit along with guidelines and timeline on the basis of a meeting of the committee, in which it was decided that an advisory will be issued by the Delhi government to all the agencies that no monkey trapping efforts would be carried out other than this organised effort to ensure no simian was subjected to unnecessary cruelty or trauma.
As per the timeline, it would take 180 days to conduct population census of monkeys in Delhi by the selected agency after receiving sanction or grant from the MoEF and for doing awareness programmes for public and establishing monkey helpline.
“In the meeting, it was informed that one mobile unit may sterlise 7000-8000 monkeys per year. The selected implementation agency could be encouraged to deploy increased number of units to expedite the monkey sterlisation project to address the population goals,” the committee report said.
It said that to implement the sterlisation process in a time bound manner, all land owning agencies like DDA, MCD, NDMC and Delhi government have to provide land within two weeks to the implementing agency for establishing mobile station for the purpose.
A miffed court had earlier said if monkeys should be asked not to procreate or bite people till the government comes out with a method to sterilise them.
It had also pulled up the Centre for importing oral immune-contraception vaccines for testing on the simians without getting approvals for carrying out the sterilisation trials.
It was hearing a PIL filed in 2001 by advocate Meera Bhatia seeking directions to the authorities to take steps to deal with the menace of monkeys and dogs in the city.
Regarding the monkey menace in New Friends Colony in South Delhi raised by Bhatia, the wildlife warden said it would also be controlled.
Wildlife SOS had earlier told the court that monkey population rapidly increases in urban areas due to the easy access to food, especially in garbage, as compared to forest areas where they have to forage for food.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.