The Chandigarh municipal corporation on Friday expressed its helplessness in coming out with a policy for compensating the victims of stray dog bites to the Punjab and Haryana high court. However, justice Rajan Gupta directed the corporation to file a detailed reply by May 15 as to which provisions of its ‘comprehensive scheme for management of stray dogs in the union territory of Chandigarh, 2012’ have been implemented by it till date and how.
The court was also asked to infor m about the steps the corporation planned to take in this regard to curb the dog menace. Justice Gupta was hearing a petition filed by city resident Gurmukh Singh, highlighting the menace.
Appearing for the corporation, Chandigarh administration’s senior standing counsel Sanjeev Sharma informed the court that on an average there are 9,000 dog-bite cases in a year in the city. If the corporation proposes Rs 10,000 as compensation amount to every victim, the yearly compensation amount reaches Rs 9 crore, which is a huge amount.
“The MC would have to ultimately raise the money for compensation by taxing the public, which would affect the residents’ pockets,” he added.
During arguments, however, it came out that in October 2012, a division bench of the HC had issued directions in a public interest litigation to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to frame comprehensive schemes within two months on the basis of directions issued on the subject by the Bombay high court and Delhi high court as well as the rules framed by the Animal Welfare Board of India. The case has been adjourned for May 15.