New Delhi: The Delhi High Court told the AAP government on Friday to come out with an alternative plan to reduce the increasing monkey population in the national capital if it was not finding any bidders for its tenders to sterilise the simians.
HC’s poser to ‘ill-equipped’ AAP govt : ‘Think of an alternative to catch monkeys’
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao told the Delhi government if no one bid for its tenders, it "cannot just sit back and do nothing".
The observations and direction from the bench came after the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) told the court that it "lacked the expertise" and was ill-equipped to catch monkeys.
Advocate GaurangKanth, appearing for the SDMC, made the submission before the bench while seeking modification of the court's 2007 direction to it- to catch monkeys and relocate them in the Ridge area of the city.
The SDMC told the court that according to a central government's advisory, local bodies are advised not to carry out the exercise of catching monkeys and the task has been left to the respective state governments.
The Delhi government told the court that it had floated two tenders for catching and sterilising monkeys, but it found no takers. It also said that the local bodies, like SDMC, have the resources to carry out the exercise.
The bench, however, asked the Delhi government to inform it about an alternative plan of action and listed the matter for further hearing on January 29 next year.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation plea filed by advocate Meera Bhatia for directions to the authorities to take steps to deal with the menace of monkeys in the city.
The court had earlier noted that the problem of increasing monkey population was "aggravating with each passing day" and that the increase in simian numbers would not wait for testing of the oral vaccine for sterilising them.
NGO Wildlife SOS had earlier told the court that monkey population is rapidly increasing in urban areas due to the easy access to food, especially in garbage, as compared to forest areas where they have to forage for food.