RTI reply reveals lacuna in controlling dog menace

After drawing flak from all quarters, the ‘Best Corporation’ in the State has decided to take things head-on in controlling stray dog menace. Or so it appears. The Health Committee of the Coimbatore Corporation has, at its recent meeting, proposed the construction of the second animal birth control (ABC) operation centre in Ukkadam, said S. Thamarai Selvi, Chairman, Health Committee.

The resolution said that given the increase in number of wards from 72 to 100, area and population, there was an urgent need to increase the number of centres to control stray dog population. The Veterinary Officer has sought for the additional centre along with an acre to establish the same.

Incidentally, in the Annual Budget for 2012-13, the Mayor, S.M. Velusamy, has sanctioned Rs. 25 lakh for the establishment of an animal shelter in Vellalore. The amount could be used for establishment of the ABC operation centre in Ukkadam on a 20-cent plot, she said.

This was after a number of councillors and residents complained of dog menace, which, in the recent past, has started assuming alarming proportions. The Corporation has acted on the Health Committee’s recommendations and placed the proposal before the Council, which is expected to take it up during Monday’s meeting.

The Health Committee’s suggestion for a second ABC centre and the Corporation’s decision to forward the same comes after the city’s residents complained of stray dogs troubling children. The residents also highlighted incidents of children suffering bruises while trying to escape from dogs.

RTI reply

Meanwhile, at the district level, a Right To Information (RTI) reply had revealed that panchayats, town panchayats, municipalities and the Coimbatore Corporation had fared badly in tackling street dog menace. None of the local bodies said that it had received any complaint regarding dog menace.

This was surprising, said V. Eswaran, District Secretary, MDMK, because he had lodged a complaint with the district Collector about dog menace in the district and sought action by panchayats, town panchayats, municipalities and the Coimbatore Corporation. He petitioned the Collector in February this year and filed the RTI query in May. The RTI reply revealed that the officials concerned had not forwarded his petition to the Collector to authorities concerned for action.

In the RTI reply, the Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, had said that he was yet to get details about the actions panchayats and town panchayats had taken in the district. The same was good for the municipalities as well. Only the Coimbatore Corporation had responded with the figures (see accompanying graphic).

Mr. Eswaran said that the Mettupalayam Municipality had said that it performing ABC operations depended on funds available. This showed the level of priority accorded for an important issue that concerned the public.

He urged the Collector to look into the matter and instruct panchayat, town panchayat and municipality officials to address the street dog issue on a priority basis.

Keywords: stray dogs

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