Monkey menace grows in Dhubri district, locals seek action

Priyanka Chakrabarty

Spread the love

Guwahati: Around 5,000 monkeys are posing a grave threat to crops and livelihoods in the Hakama subdivision of Bilasipara of Dhubri district, some 230 km west of the capital Guwahati, days after Business North East alerted readers about the simian menace affecting many parts of Assam.

“Around 5,000 monkeys descend from nearby mountains to Hakama, threatening the way of life here," Shankar Chakrabarty, a local, informed this outlet. “Nothing we plant survives. Everything is gobbled up by monkeys,” he said.

The villagers are dismayed that they cannot plant anything, as “nothing will be spared," said Joydip Chakraborty, Shankar’s nephew.

Hakama villagers, during conversations with Business North East, informed us that the monkeys came down to the village from nearby mountains as they had lost their habitats. Some villagers said they have complained to authorities seeking help, but nothing has been done so far.

Last month, after conversations with various stakeholders, including farmers and local officials, Business North East discovered that Assam is suffering a change in cropping patterns and a fall in crop productivity due to marauding monkeys.

Rajat Kumar Pal, director of the Coconut Development Board regional office in Guwahati, said that a monkey menace is “affecting coconut production.” Due to the consistent threat posed by monkeys, Assam’s plans for palm oil cultivation are also said to have suffered a setback. The problem is believed to be significant in the Darrang, Baksa, Chirang, and Kokrajhar districts of Assam.

Priyanka Chakrabarty