Menace of stray dogs continues in city, thanks to failure of NMC and agencies

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Nov 2017 09:08:11


Special Correspondent,

Stray dogs are posing a major threat to the people in the city as Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has failed miserably in controlling the menace. As per one estimate, the Orange City has around 90,000 to 1,00,000 dogs roaming in different areas. To control the population of stray dogs, the civic body has decided to undertake a sterilization drive for animal birth control.

The civic body is conducting a survey of dogs through an agency of Animal Welfare Board (AWB) to know the actual population of dogs in the city. The survey will be completed in a month. Still, the ground situation at present indicates that NMC has failed in curbing rise in number of stray dogs.
These dogs are posing danger to flow of vehicular traffic, as indicated by several accidents caused by stray dogs running after cars and two-wheelers. As per the rough estimates, 10-20 persons become victims of dog bite in the city every day.

In many cases, children are victims of dog bite. The zonal offices of the civic body receives several complaints about dog bite. Still, the picture at present is only in the form of estimates. For, the cases of dog bite going to private hospitals are never reported to NMC or compiled at the level of NMC. If these figures also are added to the estimates, the number of people who become victims of dog bite may increase.

Maximum cases of dog bite are registered in North Nagpur while many cases are reported from outer parts of the city too. In most lanes of the city, dogs are roaming in a group of five to eight. They pose greater risk to citizens at night. The menace is likely to continue as NMC may take another fortnight to start the drive to control the birth rate of dogs.
The main reason behind increase in population of stray dogs is failure of the local body to conduct sterilization drive effectively. Due to unnecessary delay in implementing the drive, the population of stray dogs has risen to an estimated 90,000 dogs in the city.

It may be recalled here that following a petition filed in the year 2006, Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court had given directions to kill the stray dogs in the city. AWB, an agency working under Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the High Court. The Supreme Court had stayed the directions of the High Court. As per Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, after sterilization the stray dogs should be released at the same place from where they were caught by the agency concerned. NMC is implementing these orders to control the birth.

As per the directions of the Supreme Court, NMC had given the contract for maintenance of the dog shelter to ISAW and PFA but their contract was terminated due to several disputes, an officer told ‘The Hitavada’.

Now, Health Department has decided to control the birth of stray dogs by sterilization process. The department has finalised two agencies -- VET for Animal, Satara; and Nagpur unit of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal for sterilization of dogs to control their birth. These agencies will start sterilization work in Bhandewadi and Gittikhadan. These agencies work under Animal Birth Control and Anti-Rabies (ABCAR) Vaccination programme.

One of the agencies will also look after the dog shelter. Each of these two agencies will catch dogs in five zones, sterilize them, and release them in the same areas from where they were caught. NMC has set a target of sterilizing 50,000 dogs in next one year. Each agency will sterilize 25 dogs every day. The civic body will pay Rs 700/- per dog for sterilization as well as for post-operation care, to the agencies appointed for the purpose. Standing Committee has sanctioned a budget of Rs 3.50 crore towards this. A monitoring committee will be constituted to monitor the activities of these agencies. Municipal Commissioner will be the chairman of the committee.