Tuesday, January 17, 2012

After birds menace, it’s monkey business at Ahmedabad airport

The bird and dog menace at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport has taken a dip even as the monkey menace is on the rise.

Data provided by airport officials stated that only four bird-hit incidents were reported between August and December 2011 as compared to 12 in during the same period in 2010. The number of incidents involving dogs was zero for the period as compared to eight incidents in 2010.

However, the simian menace is on the rise. There were 56 incidents of delay due to monkey menace in 2011 as against only two such incidents in 2010. These figures were discussed at the Airfield Environment Management Committee (AEMC) meeting held at the airport under the chairmanship of SK Nanda, principal secretary, department of forests & environment, Gujarat.

The meeting, which discussed various issues related to Ahmedabad Airport and its surrounding areas, was also attended by officials of Airports Authority of India, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, domestic and international airlines, Indian Air Force, Cantonment Board, Forest Dept and GEER Foundation.

On the monkey menace, an official of the airport said that it was a comparatively new trend as earlier such incidents were almost nil.
Sources in other department also said that the rapid rise of concrete jungles could have also driven the monkeys out of their natural habitat and towards human habitation.

The meeting also discussed various measures to tackle the situation, including increasing the length of solar powered electric fencing and imposing fine for littering on the airport premises.

As for the drop in bird menace, the airport official credited it to the various measures adopted by them to control the problem. "We have deputed bird scarers and have equipped the staff with various equipment, including laser guns, to scare the birds," said the official.


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