Whether you are getting down the train and bus or simply arriving to the city by road, stray dogs and cattle will greet you everywhere.
The denizens, local NGOs and educational institutions have raised their voice from time to time in order to free Ludhiana from stray animals, but their efforts have failed to bear fruit. Even claims of the municipal corporation (MC) of taking steps to control the menace have failed to show results.
As a result, these animals have a free run on city roads, and have caused numerous road accidents. "The dogs, especially, come in front of speeding vehicles and it is not an easy task to apply brakes to save them. That is why, daily many corpses of dogs are found on different roads. Worse, the MC makes no effort to clear the corpses, which lead to foul smell and unhygienic conditions on city roads," said Manjeet Singh Sidhu, student of a local college.
These animals are commonplace in various eminent areas of the city, including Ishmir Chowk, Mall Road, Field Gunj, Chaura Bazar, Dandi Swami Chowk, and Haibowal Chowk, and do not even spare parks. Roadside eateries are also often surrounded with stray animals looking for waste food that is thrown in the open.
There have also been numerous cases of dog bites, but these have failed to wake up the MC.
The stray cattle menace is no better, as the bovines, too, roam freely on various roads that witness heavy traffic. They can often be seen sitting leisurely in the middle of these roads, leading to accidents and traffic snarls.
"Stray cattle sitting in the middle of the road often become the reason for traffic jams. I have experienced it many a times," said Navjeet Kaur, a Pakhowal Road resident, who daily goes to drop and pick her children from a school in Dugri.
She added, "The city daily receives many visitors from across the world, and they surely must be taking note of this menace. But the MC is still not serious about it."
When contacted, MC commissioner Rahul Tewari said he and his team were aware about the stray animal menace and were making constant efforts to curtail it.
"The project to sterilise dogs will start soon, but there is no timeframe as of now. They cannot be killed nor can they be shifted to any other place. However, sterilisation will curb the stray dog population from rising," the commissioner added.
For stray cattle, he said, "In total there are 10 gaushalas (cow sheds) in the city, and of them, we have tied up with Govind Gaushala near the Clock Tower. Whenever we trace any cattle on the roads, we send them to this gaushala and also provide them free fodder."