Reopen ‘monkey export’ and allow translocation of monkeys to North East: Himachal urges Centre
Himachal asks for clearance of Rs 1300 crore for the project “Himachal Pradesh: Forests for Prosperity”, requested a pair of tigers and Asiatic lions for Renukaji Zoo and Gopalpur Zoo
SHIMLA- Currently, monkey-man conflict in Himachal is in national focus as a symbol of extreme man-animal conflict in growing urbanization, which is spreading like an infectious skin disease, shoving off forests and squeezing every bit of natural resources to fulfill human needs.
After convincing Centre to allow culling of monkeys in 38 tehsils of the State, now Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri, in a meeting with the Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (GOI) at New Delhi, again raised the demand to extend the time period of killing of the monkeys under the vermin declaration notification for another one year.
Also Read: Monkeys in Himachal declared vermin in 38 tehsils of 10 districts to allow their culling
It is noticeable that the Environment Ministry of India had declared rhesus monkeys vermin in March and allowed culling for a period of six months after pressing demand by HP Government, but no culling was undertaken during these six months.
Forest minister also requested to review the Exim Policy and export of rhesus monkeys into international market banned in the year 1978 to be reopened. He also proposed translocation of some monkey population to the North East region at the Central level in consultation with concerned authorities, as North East has suitable habitat for them.
Also Read: Monkey Culling in Himachal: No scientific method, Anyone can kill and claim Rs 300 incentive on each kill
In another request, he asked for clearance of Rs 1300 crore for the project named “Himachal Pradesh: Forests for Prosperity”, which the government expects to increase the State’s economic development along with enhancing rural livelihood.
The Minister also demanded to spare a pair of tigers and Asiatic lions for Renukaji Zoo and Gopalpur Zoo respectively. Swan River Integrated Watershed Development Project worth Rs 410 crore sent to Ministry to be funded by JICA was also discussed in the meeting.
He requested the ministry to issue non forest Government land for carrying out Compensatory Afforestation and to enhancement of power of the State Government from one hectare to five hectare under Forest Conservation Act,1980 followed by a discussion on Integrated Development of Wildlife habitats in Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks.
Photo: Tarun Sharma/Himachal Watcher