Dog shelter, ABC centre projects stalled by stiff local opposition in Ernakulam

November 17, 2023 08:43 pm | Updated 08:43 pm IST - KOCHI

The district panchayat’s proposed ₹50-lakh facility comprising a dog shelter, a pet care centre, and an Animal Birth Control (ABC) centre on a one-acre plot in Karukutty panchayat in Angamaly block remains stalled owing to stiff opposition from local residents and local body authorities.

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) had made available the plot to the district panchayat earlier his year, and it had been planned to ready the facility before the year-end. However, local residents came to know about the project when the district panchayat authorities undertook a site visit around five months ago and had since then put up a strong opposition to the project. Though governed by the Congress like the district panchayat, Karukutty panchayat has also not been supportive of the project.

“We haven’t abandoned the project yet but are going slow for tempers to cool since the facility has to be set up one way or the other. No matter where, such a facility will evoke protest. On one hand people demand such facilities but on the other they don’t want them in their neighbourhood,” said district panchayat president Ullas Thomas.

Apart from making an initial allocation of ₹50 lakh in the 2023-24 Plan fund, the district panchayat remains willing to make additional allocation as and when needed. Once the hurdles are removed, it won’t take more than six months to tender the work and complete the construction, said Mr. Thomas.

Meanwhile, the district panchayat is planning to set up a third ABC centre at Alangad, which will be of use to all local bodies within the limits of Parakkadavu and Alangad block panchayats. A meeting to work out the finer points of the project is scheduled to be held on November 30. Once the estimated investment is worked out, it will be shared between the district panchayat, the two block panchayats, and the local bodies under the block panchayats.

The district panchayat had set up two new ABC centres in Mulanthuruthy and Vadavucode block panchayats in July. The centre at Mulanthuruthy block panchayat serves Pampakuda block panchayat and 11 panchayats collectively falling under their limits, while the one at Vadavucode block caters to Muvattupuzha block and the 14 panchayats under them. Both the centres have been working well and have collectively sterlised not less than 400 dogs so far, said Mr. Thomas.

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