Stray dogs roam the streets in Sarabha Nagar in Ludhiana on Wednesday.(Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)
Stray dogs roam the streets in Sarabha Nagar in Ludhiana on Wednesday.(Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)

Despite spending crores, no respite from stray dog menace in Ludhiana

MC claims to have spent Rs 4 crore and sterilised 50,000 dogs since 2015, when the project was started
Hindustan Times/Ludhiana | By Harsimran Singh Batra, Ludhiana
UPDATED ON NOV 06, 2020 11:47 PM IST

Even though the Ludhiana municipal corporation has spent over Rs 4 crore on stray dog sterilisation in the last past five-and-a-half years, there is no respite from dog bite cases in the city.

The stray dog population has been on a continuous rise even as the civic body claims to have sterilised over 50,000 dogs since 2015, when the project was started.

The recent incident in Tajganj area wherein an eight-year-old boy was viciously attacked by a pack of stray dogs without any provocation, has resulted in an uproar among residents, who have raised questions on the working of the civic body.

The victim’s father, Amanpreet Singh said, “My son suffered injuries on his legs and back in the attack, and had to undergo a surgery. But the civic body doesn’t seem concerned. It has still not taken any steps to ensure the safety of residents.”

Swaranjit Singh, a resident of Dugri Phase 2, said, “Sometimes it becomes difficult for us to step out of the house as there are four to five dogs roaming around on the streets. The MC should find a concrete solution to this problem.”

On Friday, residents of SBS Nagar Block-E submitted a complaint against the menace to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT). Arvind Sharma, a resident, said, “A large number of stray dogs can be spotted in the area, many of which try to attack the residents. The Tajganj area incident has left the residents, especially the women and children in the locality, worried.”

The dog sterilisation project was commenced in February 2015 and the MC was paying Rs 760 per dog to the private company involved in the project till December 2018.

The MC had entered into a new contract with the same company in January 2019 and the rate was revised to Rs 990 per dog. As per the officials, over 50,000 dogs have been sterilised in the city so far at a cost of Rs 4 crore.

Requesting anonymity, an official said that even after sterilising a large number of dogs, the MC has not received a positive response from residents due to the frequent dog bite incidents. The main reason behind this is that the MC has failed to follow the ward-wise schedule while sterilising the dogs. “The target cannot be achieved if MC teams are sent to different wards every day as they should be allowed to focus on just one ward at a time. The number of complaints being received by the civic body is also not decreasing,” the official said.

Dog sterilisation stalled due to shortage of manpower:

Meanwhile, amid the rising dog bite cases, the city’s dog sterilisation project being taken up at the Animal Birth Control (ABC) Centre at Haibowal Dairy Complex has come to a halt due to lack of manpower.

Work has been stalled since the last week of September when the workers and doctor involved in the project left citing personal reasons. This is the second time that the project has been affected in the last three months. It was also stopped in August due to a shortage of workers.

Mayor Balkar Sandhu conducted an inspection at the ABC centre on Friday and said that the dog sterilisation process will be restarted in the city from Saturday.

Mayor Balkar Sandhu said, “The project came to halt due to the exodus of labourers following the pandemic outbreak. The project will be restarted on Saturday, with focus on areas from where frequent complaints have been coming. The MC is also working to expand the project under the Smart City mission so that more dogs could be sterilised on a daily basis. A new building is being established for the purpose.”

MC commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said, “I have sought a report from the officials concerned regarding the project so that necessary steps can be taken to restart the sterilisation project.”

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