Pulled up for failing to take action against stray dogs after a seven-year-old boy died due to dog bite injuries in Jamia Nagar, the South Municipal Corporation has blamed lack of infrastructure and opposition from “residents” for the problem.
In its affidavit submitted before the Delhi High Court Wednesday, the corporation said it had been sterilising dogs in the city but residents had raised objections and blocked a drive on August 5 — a day after the boy was bitten.
The corporation has claimed that a resident of the area, in the presence of the Gaffar Manzil and Noor Nagar RWA officebearers, had “forcibly released” the stray dogs picked up by its staff, forcing the officials to call for police help. “Action of picking up of stray dogs for sterilisation could only be taken up thereafter with the help of police force,” stated the affidavit.
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The bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva had asked the corporation to file its response after the August 4 incident, where the boy had succumbed to his injuries after being bitten on the neck and head by stray dogs. The issue was raised during the hearing on a PIL filed by NGO Nyayabhoomi over the dangers posed to the elderly and children from “dangerous” stray dogs.
The corporation, in its affidavit, has also said that the Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (SPCA) — which was given authority under the Animal Birth Control Rules — was “not doing the work” of sterilisation of stray dogs. The civic body said it had even sent a letter in August to SPCA to start the work.
The corporation has further admitted that six organisations were “inadequate” for sterilising dogs and it had advertised in June for more NGOs to carry out the work. However, only two NGOs showed interest but could not be awarded the work as they did not have adequate infrastructure.
The civic body also informed the court that it had written to the Delhi Development Authority to release land for dog sterilisation centers in each corporation ward and a veterinary hospital in South Delhi, but the response from the landowning agency was “still awaited.”
During the hearing, Nyayabhoomi president B B Sharan suggested that the court should direct that dog pounds be opened in each ward to “take all dogs off the streets”. The bench, however, declined to issue any orders while comparing the suggestion to the recent culling of stray dogs in Kerala.