Tackling the ever growing monkey menace in Adilabad, the district to which Forest and Environment Minister Jogu Ramanna belongs, has strangely turned calamitous for birds which essentially depend upon food crops for survival. Stranger still is the fact that neither the Forest nor the Panchayat Raj department have woken up to this issue which can eventually spell disaster for the avian world.
Increasing number of dead birds can be seen dangling from the fishing nets, for example at Lingatla in Neredigonda mandal, which have been put up around perimeters of agriculture fields to scare off monkeys.
Farmers in the monkey-infested hilly areas in Neredigonda, Nirmal, Sarangapur, Jannaram, Kadem and Khanapur mandals had hit upon the seemingly novel idea of erecting nets around their fields as monkeys stayed away apparently fearing getting stuck.
Birds attack food crops, especially jowar and maize which have been sown in about 5,000 hectares this season. Birds face disaster during the period between late October and January when the nets are erected to protect the fields.
The population of simians rose steadily when large groups were released in newer areas in the forests. These monkeys, in due course take to pillaging standing crops thereby causing economic loss to farmers besides extreme mental agony.
“Controlling monkeys is the lookout of respective gram panchayats. The gram panchayats should sterilise the simians,” points out Adilabad Chief Conservator of Forest T.P. Thimma Reddy.
“The fund-strapped local bodies have their own limitations. The Forest Department cannot shirk the responsibility as it is that department which books a case in the event of an animal in the wild, including a monkey being killed,” counters the District Panchayat Officer K. Pochaiah. The Nirmal Municipality, which faces perhaps the worst situation in so far as monkey is concerned, has brought in a few langurs which are taken around localities to scare the simians. The latter however, return to torment citizens once the langurs are moved to some other locality.