Monkeys causing no harm to devotees: PADT

Kathmandu, June 13

A behavioral study of monkeys recently conducted by Pashupati Area Development Trust showed that monkeys neither caused havoc nor harmed devotees coming to visit the temple.

According to the study, no incident in which the monkeys harmed devotees was recorded during the study period. Acting on the interim order issued by the Supreme Court, which had ordered the board to act on the havoc caused by monkeys, the trust had conducted a behavioral study of monkeys.

Member Secretary at PADT Dr Govinda Tandan said the study had proven that monkeys did not cause nuisance, but just ran from one place to another in search of food and water. “As monkeys were not found causing havoc, we informed the Supreme Court about it,” Tandan told The Himalayan Times.

He said further discussions were being held to find ways for better management of monkeys in the Pashupatinath temple area. “Though we have managed drinking water for monkeys of Bhandarkhal, there is still a severe scarcity of drinking water in other places in and around the temple area,” he said, adding, “We are discussing alternatives for managing clean drinking water for monkeys.” The study report showed monkeys drinking the polluted drinking water of the Bagmati River were growing thin.

PADT set up six water pots, each carrying 2.5 litres of water, for the monkeys of Bhandarkhal and vicinity in May. Monkeys of Pashupatinath face severe water scarcity during dry season every year. Except Bhadarkhal area, monkeys in and other areas of the temple are facing severe scarcity of water these days. Apart from pollution, receding water levels in the Bagmati River is causing water shortage in the temple area.

Wildlife expert and visiting professor of Kyoto University, Japan, Dr Mukesh Kumar Chalise, however, said the best way to resolve the problem was to control pollution in the Bagmati River. He also suggested that PADT make arrangements for treatment of ailing monkeys. PADT said there were around 600 monkeys in the Pashupati area.