Even as several villages and towns in the coal belt region and elsewhere in the district continue to grapple with monkey menace, the district administration has chalked out an action plan to implement a fortnight-long special drive from December 11 to surmount the problem.
The move has been necessitated following a slew of complaints from aggrieved farmers and denizens of various towns mainly located in the coal mining region and along the periphery of reserve forest areas about the onslaught by hordes of marauding monkeys, almost a daily ordeal for many of them.
The efforts by some local bodies to check the menace by deploying langurs in adherence to biological control methods proved ineffective in the past.
This has prompted some of the aggrieved persons to explore new ways including using improvised devices made in some other states that generate loud sound to scare away monkeys at the farmlands to save their crops from packs of unruly simians, sources said.
It may be noted that the government horticulture farm at Achyutapuram in Aswaraopeta mandal was raided by a strong troop of around 300 monkeys causing severe damage to hundreds of mango grafts a few years ago. The animal rescue vehicle of the Forest department had to be deployed to disperse packs of ferocious monkeys, which virtually seized the 35-acre horticulture farm during that particular incident.
The Yellandu civic body’s efforts to contain the menace of monkeys in the coal town by roping in the services of expert monkey catchers from Tirupati yielded some positive results in the past few weeks.
Sources attributed the rise in monkey menace to depletion of the natural habitat of monkeys in the coal belt region over the past few years.
Collector M.V. Reddy has directed the officials of the Municipal Administration and Panchayat Raj departments to implement a fortnight long drive from December 11 to 25 to check the menace of monkeys by capturing and releasing them in deep forests, sources added.
When contacted, Yellandu Municipal Commissioner A. Srinivas Reddy told The Hindu that as many as 1,422 monkeys were trapped by a team of monkey catchers from Tirupati at different locations in the coal town in the past one and a half months. The trapped monkeys were released into dense forests bordering Mulugu district, he added.
The monkey-catchers charged ₹400 per monkey and the civic body relocated the trapped monkeys to their natural habitat by making transportation arrangements as per due procedure.