Shimla: The first-of-its-kind Primate Park for monkeys in Himachal Pradesh was inaugurated by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at Tara Devi near Shimla today. Earlier, the government had decided to open two Primate Parks in the state on experimental basis – one in Shimla and the other in Nadaun to keep 2,500 monkeys annually at each park at an estimated cost of Rs 1.50 crore.
It may be remembered that monkey menace was a major election issue during the recently held Assembly elections, and various farmer organizations had for long been demanding concrete action on the front.
Addressing a gathering, Dhumal said laser sterilization of monkeys was also being carried out with help from local unemployed youth. A target to cover 5,000 monkeys has been fixed in the state during this year for sterilisation. At present one monkey sterilisation centre is working in Tutikandi in Shimla where 2,000 monkeys are being covered annually under the programme. The government has also allowed killing of monkeys, if they cause damage to the standing crops, but not in urban areas.