Monkeys take a toll of the poll office

Monkeys take a toll of the poll office

There appears to be a lot of monkey business going on at Delhi's Election Commission – and it has got nothing to with electoral malpractices.

In the last three days alone, professional trappers hired by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi have caught 15 monkeys in MCD's Nirman Bhawan which houses the offices of the State Election Commission. The MCD swung into action when the simians directly targetted Delhi's poll boss.

Last week, Rakesh Mehta, State Election Commissioner, complained to the MCD's civil line zone that monkeys had not only chewed the wires of his computer thrice in past few months but has also rendered the airconditioner in his room useless.

The MCD's Nirman Bhawan building has long been a happy hunting ground for the monkeys and despite several complaints in the past has been unable to get rid of the menace.

According to Y S Mann, Spokesperson, MCD, the shortage of monkey-catchers is the only reason for the simian menace to have grown to its daunting proportions.

“We have just eight monkey catchers and it is not easy with these many people. We had placed advertisement regards to monkey-catcher thrice in the past but nobody responded. We were earlier paying 400 rupees for per catch but now we have increased the sum to Rs 600.

Since the money is only paid on the catch, not many are interested in the job. However, taking note of the State Election Commissioner's complaint we had deployed the monkey-catchers there and they managed to catch 15 monkeys within 2-3 days,” said Mann.

Trapped monkeys

The trapped monkeys are being sent to Asola Bhatti Mines forests owned by the Wildlife department of Delhi government. According to Mann, 1,118 monkeys have been caught till October 18.

 “With our limited resources, we managed to catch 1,613 monkeys in 2010 and hope to beat improve the figures by this year end,” said Mann.

According to information, MCD has also sterilized 2,04,539 dogs in the national capital till October 2011.

As per a survey conducted in the city in 2009, the stray dog population was pegged at 2.80 lakhs.

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