On Wednesday morning, the Bandra police fined five dog owners walking their pets on the Carter Road promenade for failing to put their pets on a leash or not cleaning up their pets’ poop.
Acting on complaints received by local residents, the police swooped down on those violating the civic body’s dog-walking code. Each of the five pet owners was fined Rs 1,250.
“We had carried out a drive based on the BMC's directive. Five people were booked for not leashing their pets properly and not cleaning the promenade after their pets soiled it,” said Amitabh Gupta, additional commissioner of police (west region).
Asked whether such drives would be regular or if it had been carried out for the first time, Gupta said, “We carry out these as and when we get complaints from the residents or pedestrians.”
The police crackdown has taken locals by surprise.
While morning walkers welcomed the idea of not having to step into canine excreta, dog owners rued the lack of open spaces to walk their pets.
Esther Miranda, who owns five dogs, said that six policemen stopped her on Thursday during her morning walk with one of her dogs. “They (the policemen) were pointing to my dog who happened to urinate. They said I couldn’t walk the dog on the road, and that if it pooped I had to clean up after it. They also argued that the dog needs to be on a leash and his mouth muzzled.”
Claude Pereira, a Bandra-based architect, said he was sitting on the promenade on Tuesday morning with his dog when a policeman asked him to go to the police station. “I took an autorickshaw, they didn’t even allow me to drop my dog home,” she said.
Pereira added that on Thursday morning he was jogging with his dog and the policemen were back again “harassing others walking their dogs on the road”.
Stating that he had been going to Carter Road for 30 years, he said, “I’m 54 and live alone in a big bungalow, I need my dog. There are no signs put up announcing this new provision.”