iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Navrajdeep Singh , Hindustan Times
Patiala, September 13, 2013
Stray animals roaming freely on roads has caused misery for commuters and local residents passing through the roads in Patiala. The increased population of stray animals, such as cow, bulls and dogs, has also proved a significant factor for road mishaps across the city. However, the problem has not been severe under Patiala Municipal Corporation jurisdiction but the problem has majorly hit areas including Model Town, Gian Colony, Sewak Colony, TB Hospital Road, Bus Stand Road, Passey Road, Sherawala Gate, Chhoti Baradari, Anardana Chowk, Safabade Gate, Arya Samaj and Sabzi Mandi.

Despite repeated complaints, both the district administration and the civic body have failed to come up with any concrete solution.

Even introduction of several sterilisation campaigns to control the increasing population of stray animals by the MC and district veterinary department proved futile.

Creatures like cows and bulls could be easily seen standing on the national highways. This not only doubles the chances of accidents but commuters also face trouble while avoiding the animals.

"These animals cause a lot of problem especially at night. Despite of our repeated requests, the authorities have failed to resolve the issue,"said Balwinder Singh, a resident of Guru Nanak Nagar.

The MC had also decided to open dog pounds, but the project didn't materialise. However, recently fed up with the menace of stray animals, the civic body has planned to start a mass sterilisation campaign in the areas of its jurisdiction and they have written to the National Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).

"As per the initial plans with AWBI, we will provide land to AWBI to carry out sterilisation of animals. NGO officials will keep the animals for a month and will let them free after they are sterilised,"said an MC official.

Sources said, AWBI had already curbed the menace of stray animals by carrying out sterilisation campaigns or informing about control measures to the MC authorities in Ludhiana and Amritsar.

Voicing concern

Jaswinder Singh, shopkeeper, Sher-e-Punjab Market

Stray animal menace is looming large in Patiala. A large number of cattle loiter on the roads slowing down the traffic flow.

Mobin Ahemad, resident, Bishan Nagar

Who will be responsible if a commuter or a local get injured due to this. The authorities do not pay medical expenses if a stray dog bites anybody.

Kailash Chand Goyal, resident, B Tank Colony

The government should think of an alternative for sterilising stray dogs. They should also give incentives to people who fall prey to these dogs.

Authority speak

Parminder Singh Gill, commissioner, MC

We have contacted private cow shelters to house stray cows. Initiatives to catch such animals have also been taken. We have also passed strict instructions to cattle owners not to scatter their animals on the roads.