Mathura, 2015.01.13 (TOI): In a bid to tackle Brajbhoomi’s growing monkey menace, BJP MP from Mathura, Hema Malini, has asked the Centre for permission to have the area’s 2 lakh simians sterilized. The yesteryear actress has reportedly written to the union minister of environment, Prakash Javadekar, saying that the task of reining in the monkeys, whose population is growing at a fast pace, should be done on priority as they were posing a grave public health risk.
She added that the animals were a huge public nuisance as well with daily incidents of snatching and intimidation being reported from the twin cities of Mathura-Vrindavan. Incidentally, during a visit to a Vrindavan temple last year, President Pranab Mukherjee had been advised not to wear his glasses since monkeys in the area were known to have a penchant for spectacles.
Talking to TOI, Janardan Sharma, Malini’s representative, said that the move follows the former film star’s poll promise of tackling the monkey problem on priority. “In her letter, the MP has proposed that a local NGO, MRC Vrinda Charitable trust, which has been working on the issue for many years, should be given the sterilization task,” he said.
Abhishek Sharma, the NGO’s representative, said that they zeroed in on sterilization as the only viable alternative to the problem after exploring all other options. “We had approached the state government earlier as well – they suggested catching and translocating the simians. However, translocation is not a viable solution since shifting the monkeys would simply mean that their population would increase at some other place. Neither is culling them an option since monkeys are associated with the religious sentiments of Hindus,” he said, adding that they requested Malini to intervene after state forest authorities told them that sterilization could be carried out only after the approval of the union environment ministry. “Hemaji assured us that she would take up the issue with the union government immediately so that the problem is solved at the earliest,” he said.