Dog sterilisation process resumes in Ludhiana
At a time when stray dog menace continues to haunt locals and the memories of brutal canine attack on a 15-year-old girl in Krishna Nagar are still fresh, the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) on Tuesday restarted the dog sterilisation project, which was halted for over three months, with the opening of a new block of animal birth control facility in Haibowal dairy complex on Tuesday.
Inaugurating the facility established at a cost of around ₹1 crore under the Smart City Mission, cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said the menace will be brought under control within 18 months. Mayor Balkar Sandhu, senior deputy mayor Sham Sundar Malhotra, and MC commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal were among others who were present during the event.
A Delhi-based firm has been awarded the contract and two teams of 12 members, including veterinarians and dog catchers, will be working to catch and sterilise stray dogs in the city with a target of sterilising 60 animals on daily basis. MC officials said the civic body will pay ₹1,200 to the company for sterilising a dog and the contract has been signed for two years.
Under the previous contract, which expired in February, MC used to pay ₹990 to a Hyderabad-based firm.
Ashu said the newly established centre has preparation and sterilisation rooms, operation theatre, 22 kennels, including six pre and 16 post-operation kennels. Following the surgery, the sterilised dogs will be kept under observation for five to six days and then left in the same area from where they were caught so that their natural habitat is not disturbed. Before releasing the dogs, anti-rabies shots will also be administered to them.
He said, “The sterilisation target will be increased from 60 to 100 dogs per day in the coming time. As per the experts, the menace will be brought under control within a period of 18 months.”
The sterilisation project came to the halt on March 1 after the term of the previous contract expired. The MC delayed the process to hire a new contractor and a contract with the current firm was signed in May. On an average, 35-40 dog bite cases are reported at the civil hospital per day.
Commenced in 2015, the project was facing roadblocks since last August due to the exodus of labourers amid the pandemic. The officials stated that around 50,000 dogs have been sterilised under the project till now.
Covid norms flouted
Despite a ban on political gatherings as per the Covid restrictions imposed in the state, over 70 people, including senior Congress leaders and workers, participated in the inaugural event organised at the centre.
No social distancing was observed and despite cops’ deployment at the spot for security purposes, many of the participants were seen without masks.
When questioned, minister Ashu said, “No invitation was extended to the workers or leaders for participating in the event. Covid guidelines were followed while inaugurating the facility. Gathering of 20 persons has been permitted by the government and most of the participants in the event were from media houses only.”