Delhi govt to catch monkeys, stray dogs ahead of Obama's visit

  • Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 07, 2014 01:49 IST

The Delhi government, in its bid to further Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of building smart cities, has decided to curb the stray dogs and monkey menace in the Capital and regulate city’s street vendors.

Delhi chief secretary DM Spolia on Friday held a meeting with senior officials of the forest, revenue, public works, and police departments, beside the municipal corporations, to prepare an action plan.

The move comes ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the Capital in January next year for Republic Day. The security agencies had roped in dog and monkey catchers to avert any “animal invasions” when Obama was in the Capital four years ago.

Manish Gupta, commissioner of south and east municipal corporations, said, “We have prepared a comprehensive sterilisation programme for stray dogs. As for monkeys, we will catch those in residential areas and send them to Asola-Bhatti wildlife sanctuary.”

Union minister and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi, however, had a mixed response to the issue. “Sterilisation of dogs is the way out, but you cannot keep sending monkeys to the sanctuary to die. It’s basically a wasteland,” she said. The Hindustan Times had on Friday reported how food supply to monkeys in the sanctuary had stopped because of pending bills.

More than 16,000 monkeys have so far been sent to the sanctuary. Apart from that, there are around 3 to 3.5 lakh stray dogs in Delhi. The three municipal corporations have sterilized 27,869 dogs during 2013-2014.

“About half the city dogs have been sterilised. We will achieve 90% of the target in the next three years. We will do a census by colour-coding male, female and sterilised dogs,” said Gupta. The meeting on Friday concluded that the city needs to upgrade its sterilisation infrastructure by at least five to six times.

The smart city plan that is being mooted also looks at the presence of beggars on streets, poor condition of historical monuments, congestion because of street vendors and parking problems in the city.

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