HP demands more sterilisation units to combat monkey menace

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Shimla, Sep 18 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said to help check the monkey menace and the Centre needed to help establish at least six more units for sterilisation of monkeys in the hill state.

At present, only one such unit was operational, he said, adding that his government had decided to raise natural habitat for the monkeys where apart from fruit, other food would be available for their sustenance.

He said small and marginal farmers were getting affected with the monkey menace and immediate steps were needed to be taken to check their increasing population, so that farming activities could be carried on unhampered.

Mr Singh also said his government was committed for permanent rehabilitation of the nomadic Gujjars and about 700 such families dispersed all over the state, were required to be settled permanently. For this, adequate land was required to be allotted to them on priority.

He said majority of identified areas was under the forest land definition and required prompt clearance by the Union Forest Ministry so that the land was made available to the state for onward allotment to the identified Gujjar families.

Chief Minister urged the visiting Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment S Raghupathy, to clear the proposal of Larot-Dodra road through Chanshal pass in Rohru sub-division of Shimla district, to connect the landlocked valley with motorable road.

He said that the road construction had been carried by the state forest department and widening would be possible only after forest clearance was obtained.

He assured the visiting Union Minister that his government was environment-friendly and live to the situation and the same needed to be taken into consideration while giving clearance to all the pending forest cases.

Mr Raghupathy assured the Chief Minister that he would raise all the issues of the state interest at appropriate level and do his best to get to the desired relief the state. He added the Union Government would be liberal in granting forest clearances for developmental activities.

Dr Pankaj Khullar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests apprised the Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment about the environment protection measures taken by the state government.

UNI

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