Fruit tree plantations in forests to keep monkeys at bay

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Guwahati, July 23 : The growing menace of monkeys in Guwahati has become a matter of serious concern and the Forest Department of late has come up with a plan to keep monkeys confined to the forest.

The Social Forestry Department has come up with a plan to resolve the human-animal conflict.

They have decide to plant fruit bearing trees in the forest areas from where the monkeys come to the human habitations in search of food and thus create problems for the residents.

Most of the forest areas here are adjoined to human habitations. The people feel that the fruit bearing trees will ensure food for the monkeys and in turn help in confining them to the forest.

"If this plantation is done, the monkeys might not come. The forest department is doing this and it will be helpful for the people," said Hum Deka, a resident.

There has been a parallel growth in the human and the ape's population resulting in encroachment of forest areas and increase in the human monkey conflict.

Some of the places where the monkeys create havoc are Guwahati University, Basishtha and Nabagraha.

In response to the people's views, the Social Forestry Department has framed a scheme and has, for the first time, decided to plant around 5000 fruit bearing trees in the forest areas to naturally hold back monkeys in the forest.

"We saw a group in which there were many physically handicapped monkeys. We discussed it amongst ourselves and decided to grow fruit bearing trees near the foothills where our office is," said, V K Vishnoi, Chief Conservator of Forest, Social Forestry, Assam.

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