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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

No relief in sight, Mohali MC to revamp dog sterilisation plan

Stepping up: MC to conduct survey of dogs, provide more infrastructure to NGO sterilising canines.

punjab Updated: Apr 29, 2018 12:37 IST
Saurabh Chauhan
Saurabh Chauhan
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Against a population of over 5,000 stray dogs in Mohali, only 2,405 have been sterilised between June 2017 and March 2018.
Against a population of over 5,000 stray dogs in Mohali, only 2,405 have been sterilised between June 2017 and March 2018.(HT File Photo)

Three years after the Mohali Municipal Corporation (MC) outsourced the animal birth control (ABC) programme in March 2015, the stray dog menace in the town is far from over. The society hired for dog sterilisation has been unable to pick pace for want of adequate infrastructure, resulting in no relief to residents of Mohali.

Against a population of over 5,000 stray dogs, only 2,405 have been sterilised between June 2017 and March 2018.

In the wake of residents’ increasing complaints against the worsening menace and councillors demanding an effective solution to it, the civic body now plans to amend the programme in May.

Sterilisation a comprehensive solution?
  • Though the civic body is devising ways to step things up, it has failed to address the existing stray dog population that has swollen to around 5,000 as per a rough estimate.
  • After sterilisation, dogs are released in the same locality, resulting in no immediate relief. “We have seen no decline in stray dog population. The sterilisation programme is not yielding the expected results, as one can see puppies roaming around every now and then,” said Arun Sharma, councillor from ward number 9.

To begin with, MC will carry out a census of stray dogs in the town, that surprisingly has never been conducted.

Besides, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Udgir, Maharashtra, which is tasked with dog sterilisation, will be provided more space and infrastructure to enable them to sterilise more dogs. So far, they have been provided only one operation theatre.

“The firm is currently sterilising around 200 dogs a month, while the number should be around 1,200, if we want to see the town stray dog-free,” said MC commissioner Sandeep Hans.

The corporation also plans to hire another NGO, which will install a chip under the dog’s skin to maintain a proper record of stray dogs. The NGO will also be tasked with sensitising residents about rabies.

The stray dog menace is most severe in Phases 2, 4, 5, 7, 11 and Sector 70, while other areas have also been witnessing a gradual increase in a stray dog population, especially in parks.

Know animal birth control programme
  • SPCA, Udgir, catches dogs, sterilises them, provides post-operative care, bears expenses of medicines and drops them back at the pick-up point.
  • For this, the NGO is paid Rs 1,020 per dog. The dogs are operated upon at an operation centre in Industrial Area, Phase 1, Mohali.

“We are scared of venturing into parks due to presence of stray dogs there,” said Simran Bedi, a resident of Sector 71. Kuljeet Singh, a resident of Phase 5, said, “MC has outsourced the work of dog catching. But those people start working only after 11am, while dogs appear in larger numbers in the morning and evening.” 

Mayor Kulwant Singh admitted that the stray dog menace was a matter of concern. “We are putting in efforts to curb it.”

MC commissioner Sandeep Hans said, “We are revising the programme, which includes sensitisation of residents also, as all stray dogs are not responsible for rabies.”

First Published: Apr 29, 2018 12:34 IST

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