Andhra Pradesh

Monkeys make a comeback in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor

The acrobatics of the monkeys are causing power lines to snap on a routine basis in the city, say officials. This is a scene at the busy Gandhi Road in Tirupati on Wednesday.

The acrobatics of the monkeys are causing power lines to snap on a routine basis in the city, say officials. This is a scene at the busy Gandhi Road in Tirupati on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

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Power lines are routinely getting snapped due to their acrobatic feats, say officials

Monkeys are making a comeback across Chittoor district after a quiet spell of several years.

They are running amok across the pilgrim city of Tirupati as well as in other parts of Chittoor district.

While residents face a tough time in dealing with the monkeys, which routinely enter homes in search of food, officials of the Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Corporation Limited (SPDCL) are the most harassed lot.

“Officials are at their wits’ end due to the antics of these monkeys. They perform acrobatics on power lines, dangling from high-tension lines and jumping from one cable to another. This routinely leads to snapping of the lines which results in power failures,” said Deputy Executive Engineer (SPDCL–Tirupati) S. Murthy.

“The damage caused to transformers and feeder lines could range from simple to severe. The monkeys are creating a lot of nuisance at areas where there are large crowds, as they are lured by the pushcarts selling fruits. As they jump from building to building, they are also damaging service lines,” Mr. Murthy said.

Corporation officials said that they are forced to take the blame for the antics of the monkeys. “Whenever there is a snag due to a broken power line caused by an over-enthusiastic monkey, it is mistaken by the public as a power cut imposed by the corporation. Sometimes, the damage is so severe that it takes hours to carry out repairs,” another official said.

At present, the monkey population is reaching alarming figures at Govinda Raja Swamy Temple of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in the heart of the city, as well as in other areas such as Gandhi Road, Netaji Road and G. Car Street.

In the absence of greenery, the monkeys take shelter on temple gopurams in the night and invade public locations during the day. They have also become adept at criss-crossing the city’s roads even during heavy traffic. Sometimes, people are worried that power cables might snap and fall on them, say locals.

A massive drive was launched to drive the monkeys out of the temple city four decades ago, and there are calls for a similar operation again. “The monkeys were captured and released into forests near Kalyani dam and Mamanduru. However, for many years, the monkeys have been allowed to stay. Officials are also afraid of Lord Hanuman’s wrath, which is why they are going easy on the monkey menace,” said Elumalai, a resident of Konetikatti area in the city.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:34:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/monkeys-make-a-comeback-in-chittoor/article30035255.ece

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