Shimla: The population of monkeys, who have become nuisance for farmers and people in Himachal Pradesh, has come down by 55,000 as per the latest census conducted by the state forest department, Forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri told state Assembly during the question hour yesterday.
Replying to a question of Maheshwar Singh (HLP) and Jai Ram (BJP), the minister said that the population of monkeys was 3,17,112 in the census conducted in 2004 and it has dropped to 2,260,86 in the latest census conducted in 2012.
Replying to supplementaries on monkey menace in the state, Bharmauri said that the forest department has sterilised 69,000 monkeys till date and there number is declining every year.
He said that the state government has launched a scheme for developing monkey parks with fruits and food bearing plants to provide habitat for them in the forest areas and monkeys were in these parks after sterilisation.
"So far five places near Todpur in Nahan, Haripur in Chamba, Slori in Churah, Bassa Farkunda in Nurpur and Simbalbada have been identified for setting up monkey parks and exercise is on to identify more places for the purpose, he added.
Forest minister said that the state government has set up three new monkey sterilisation centres at Paonta Sahib (Sirmaur), Sarol (Chamba) and Salapad (Mandi) within in seven months from January 1 to July 31, 2013.
The state government even appointed veterinary doctors, pharmacists and the process to appoint animal attendants is in progress", he added.
He said that state government has laid the foundation stone of new monkey sterilisation centre at Khekhar Kania Nala (Sainj) in Kotgarh forest division and another site at Ishpur in Una has been identified for the same.
Maheshwar Singh and Jai Ram Thakur also raised the issue of death of college student and daughter of Promila Devi (divorcee), who fell from the fourth floor in Mandi after she was attacked by a monkey.
Jai Ram Thakur said that she had lost both her legs and her vision was impaired but full compensation has not been paid to the victim.
The Forest minister assured to provide best possible compensation on the humanitarian ground to the victim.