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Rein ?em in, please?

india Updated: Jan 16, 2007 00:50 IST

In announcing that it would rid the City of stray dogs the Indore Municipal Corporation appears to have bitten off more than it could chew. The special dogcatcher squad, mooted after three Chandan Nagar residents died after being bitten by rabid dogs, isn’t up and running yet, but strays certainly are.

Packs of mongrels roam the City unhindered-especially at night, giving a torrid time to nocturnal motorists and sleepy residents alike. Consider the following scene played out, ad nauseam, ad infinitum, in countless neighbourhoods: His ears perked up by a sound of indeterminate origin, a vigilant stray decides to alert canine cousins about the possibility of danger through a series of short barks.

The call is promptly taken up and relayed from one pug to another until the entire area erupts in a riotous cacophony of yelps. Observers have noted that the duration of the canine chorus is inversely proportion to distance from the chowkidar.

Silenced either by a well-placed kick or a stone hurled in their direction the dogs wait until the guard departs upon which the entire process is repeated, to the teeth-gritting dismay of nearby residents. Even more worrying is the canine tendency to attack passing vehicles at night.

The victims are largely, though by no means exclusively, two-wheeler riders. More than one motorcyclist is known to have taken a tumble after being suddenly pounced upon by a pack of howling strays.

A theory current among motorists attributes the attacks to relatives of canines killed in road accidents. If so, the rage against the machine seems to have passed into genetic memory.

As even pups presumably too young to have witnessed such a fatality firsthand are known to participate in the attacks. Something, maybe, geneticists, or at least canine behaviorologists, ought to look into.

Dead man, tell-tale...
Civic bosses perhaps need to introduce a back-to-basics course for clerical staff, given the large number of errors that creep into any document issued by the petty bureaucracy. In a major gaffe the IMC Health department is learnt to have issued two copies of the same death certificate each bearing a different spelling for the name of the deceased.

The error came to light following a property dispute among the successors of the departed when one party contested the death certificate in court citing the incorrect nomenclature.

A team of Jabalpur police recently landed at IMC headquarters and grilled Chief Medical Health Officer Dr AK Puranik. The cops’ arrival has not only shaken somnolent clerks out of their lethargy but has also robbed the sleep of poor Dr Puranik who’s been poring over yellowing records for the last week to ascertain the dead man’s exact name.

Who’s the boss..
As far as IMC union boss Ramlal Yadav is concerned the twin attacks, in less than a week,  on City Engineer NS Tomar and Anil Sharma couldn’t have come at a better time.

Yadav, whose days were believed to be numbered after Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma forbade retirees from participating in union activity, put up a sterling show after the attacks haranguing the SP and even berating the Collector for failure to act against the accused.

The tough stand earned him enough brownie points among employees for the Commissioner to become wary of asking him to quit, at least for now.