Even as canine terror continues to haunt the city, Bhopal Municipal Corporation has miserably failed to check the dog menace, which is worsening day by day. And despite its high decibel rhetoric on creating a shelter house for dogs and other stray animals, the project is getting delayed for the past two years.
Somewhere between 40 to 70 people are bitten by dogs in the city and adjoining areas on an average every day. Even as authorities admit that there are over 30,000 to 40,000 dogs in Bhopal, it has not been able to come up with a clear cut policy or plan to deal with dog menace in the long run.
Surprisingly, for a population of over 19 lakh, there is just one vehicle to catch the dogs and a dozen workers to catch them from the city's 70 wards.
Residents in many parts of Bhopal often complain about dog menace in their respective areas, claiming that it makes commuting during dark difficult and dangerous, especially when dogs keep chasing vehicles.
As stray animal menace is increasing and there have been allegations of cruelty towards animals, BMC has been under pressure to create an animal care centre where injured animals and dogs can receive better care.
Corporators have often raised the issue of stray animal menace in the council meetings, urging the administration to do something about it. They even allege that the dogs were being lifted from one ward and released in some other ward.
But BMC officials maintain that they are aware of the problems and have plans to construct an animal shelter-cum-care centre at Bhanpur on the outskirts of Bhopal over an acre of land. The project will cost around Rs. 2 crore in the first phase and will have a capacity to house over 2,000 stray animals.
There has been a long delay in the commencement of the project. BMC assistant engineer Pramod Malviya said the delay was on account of preparing the project report, getting various permissions, identifying land and because of the elections. "Following tendering process, the work order for this project has been issued on June 16. After monsoon, we will finally start the construction," he said.