Monkey menace in Kandi Belt: AAP leaders meet DFO, submit memorandum

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KATHUA, July 3:  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), District unit submitted a memorandum to Commissioner Secretary Forest, Ecology and Environment, Deeraj Gupta through Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Kathua, Khalid Amin Mehta over the growing monkey menace in the Kandi belt, here today.

A deputation led by AAP District president, Hira Lal Verma today visited Forest office Kathua to meet Wildlife Warden Kathua, Vijay Saraf but he was not present in the office due to personal reasons.

In the absence of the Wildlife Warden, they submitted the memorandum to DFO Kathua and urged him to forward the same to the Commissioner Secretary for the redressal of their problem which they were facing for a long time.

With the mounting of monkey menace in various blocks falling in Kandi belt from Lakhanpur to Dinga Amb as well as various Panchayats Mahapati, Maroli, Hatli, Janglote, Kharote, Rajbagh, the people of these areas were facing hardships especially farmers.

The monkeys are not only destroying the standing crops of farmers, but also destroying the kitchen garden and other essential items when they come in a herd in residential areas, said AAP District Spokesperson, Davinder Singh.

He further said that due to fast shrinking of the natural vegetation in the forest as well as ‘reckless tree-felling’ due to development activities undertaken by the state – mainly road building and expansion of human settlements, besides local people’s dependence on wood for fuel and other purposes, the monkey menace has been growing manifolds in the Kandi belt of the Kathua district.

They demanded that the Govt in general and Forest Department in particular should compensate the affected farmers as well as people under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), so that farmers and other affected get a sigh of relief.

Bodh Raj, District president, Sham Lal, Block president, Ritesh Sharma, Youth leader, SK Bandari, vice president District unit and women wing secretary were among the part of the deputation.

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