Monkey business no laughing matter in HMT Layout

Monkey business no laughing matter in HMT Layout

Monkey business no laughing matter in HMT Layout

 Residents of HMT Layout, Nagasandra Post, have been living under the spectre of a monkey infestation for nearly five years now. The animals have been attacking people, stealing food and damaging homes.

Meera M V, a 45-year-old homemaker, told Deccan Herald that she lived in constant fear that the monkeys might steal milk packets delivered at her home every morning. She has instructed the milkman to ring the doorbell whenever he drops the packets at her door, so that they can be retrieved before the simians can take them.

This is just one of the several precautionary measures and changes in the routine that citizens here have had to adopt.

Elsewhere in the layout, paranoia and fear have gripped the residents. Schoolchildren only step outside their homes in the company of adults, as many fear they will be attacked. Homeowners and renters in the area have enacted strict measures to prevent wastage and vandalism.

One of them, Ambika, explained that the routine mischief by monkeys has resulted in damaging developments.

“A few weeks ago, the monkeys opened all the water taps outside the house when no one was at home. When I returned, I was stunned to discover that the water tank was completely empty. From then on, I close the main water valve whenever I leave the house,” she said. 

According to the residents, the area has been teeming with more than 25 monkeys since 2008. “I moved into the layout in 1996, and there was not a single monkey then,” said Padmaja S.

Locals say the monkeys had come to the area from another location five years ago. “Since then, their population has grown steadily with each passing year,” she said.  

A large mango tree on the property of Yeshwant P has become the home for the animals.
“Every day, between 5:30 am and 6:30 am, the monkeys sneak through the gates and snatch whatever they can find. Sometimes, they steal milk packets; fruits and vegetables at other times, forcing everyone to keep their doors and windows shut throughout the day,” he said.

Bursting crackers

Yeshwant has resorted to bursting crackers to drive away the simians from the tree.
The monkeys also make their presence felt at noon and evenings, residents said. Their presence has pushed several residents to write letters to the authorities, demanding action. Few, however, have received an encouraging response.

Meena M V and her husband Chandramouli wrote to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) two years ago. But, having failed to get a favourable response, they have lost hope.

Chief Conservator of Forests, BBMP, Brijesh Kumar, explained that the Palike did not have the right to catch the monkeys as they fall under the jurisdiction of the State Forest Department.

“If our men try to catch the monkeys, they can land up in court,” he said.

He added that the Palike had forwarded the complaints to the Forest Department. “In any case, monkey-catching is not that easy as people presume,” Kumar said.

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