City monkeys not wild,hence MCD’s headache,govt tells HC

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi seems to have lost its fight against the monkeys haunting the city areas,but it is heading for another battle now — against the Delhi government.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: April 10, 2012 2:10 am

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) seems to have lost its fight against the monkeys haunting the city areas,but it is heading for another battle now — against the Delhi government.

The MCD had asked the Delhi High Court to relieve it of the responsibility to catch the stray simians and translocate them to a sanctuary at Asola Bhatti Mines. The civic agency had said the job should be handed over to the Wildlife department of the Delhi government.

The government,however,has refused to take the baton from the MCD.

In a response to the High Court,the government refused to be burdened with the duty of catching monkeys and reminded the MCD that it was a function assigned to them by a court order.

“The application by the MCD is only for shifting its responsibility for its convenience. However,it is a responsibility that cannot be abdicated by a civic agency after having gone this far. More so,when the orders passed by the High Court are unambiguous and clear,” said the government’s response.

The government has requested the court to turn down the MCD appeal. The government said the civic body,in fact,needed “to make all efforts and ensure that the judicial orders are faithfully complied with”.

The government response also noted that catching monkeys could not be the subject matter of the Wildlife department as the simians are “commensal (living in close association) in nature” and not those found in the wild.

Replying to the MCD’s argument that they did not have enough skilled monkey catchers,the department said getting catchers in adequate numbers should not be a problem for any agency and transferring the liability is no solution.

“There is a full-fledged Veterinary department in the MCD,spread across all its zones,with adequate infrastructure required for dealing with the menace caused by stray animals,including monkeys,” the response said.

After the government’s refusal,the court will take up the matter on Wednesday now.

A March 2007 order of the High Court had asked the MCD to catch and translocate them.

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