Shimla, Apr 9: The monkey menace in Shimla has evolved into a major poll issue. The farmers who are worst affected by this want to elect someone who will take care of the issue.
The same issue had been discussed in the 11th Assembly elections too. The State Government tried to open Primate Protection Parks which proved to be a complete failure.
The worst hit areas are Hamirpur, Sirmour, Solan, Kangra, Mandi andhimla districts covering almost all four parliamentary seats of Himachal Pradesh.
The farmers who grow fruits and crops like maize and wheat are vexed by the monkeys destroying the crops. They complain that the politicians forget the promise they make to attend to the issue during elections.
Shyamlal, a farmer from Pantegli village said, "The monkeys destroy whatever we sow in the fields. The monkeys are shifting from the city to the villages. We used to sow maize but that was completely destroyed by the monkeys."
Sterilization has been proposed as a solution. However this faces opposition from the Wildlife Institution of India.
"As per the Wildlife Institution of India, until 70 per cent of any species is sterilized, the population of the species cannot be controlled. But over the years, the BJP and the Congress Governments are saying that they will establish sterilization centres in Shimla, Una and Hamirpur districts to curb the monkey menace and spend 20 million for the purpose. But till today, all they could do was sterilize 4000 monkeys and that too of all age groups," said Kuldeep Tanvar, a social worker and a Communist party of India leader.