Stray animals from dogs, cattle, pigs to even rats dominated the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC’s) first general board meeting of this year that was held virtually on Monday amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Quoting the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Aravind Kumar’s recent remarks on stray cattle and dogs on Ahmedabad roads, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) at AMC Shehzad Khan Pathan said that when the Chief Justice is not safe on city streets how can a common man be.
“Every year thousands of residents become victims to stray dog bites and accidents caused by stray cattle on the roads. When the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court does not feel safe on city roads and is scared that some stray dog might bite him, just imagine the plight of common citizens,” Pathan stated during his address at the AMC general board meeting.
CJ Kumar remarked during a hearing that he was advised “by many” that he “should not go for a walk on roads”, adding that while he has dogs and loves dogs, “our enjoyment should not become a nuisance to others, should not be harmful to anybody”.
The CJ made this remark on January 17 while hearing a petition filed for contempt of an earlier Gujarat High Court-issued directions with respect to controlling cattle nuisance and maintenance of quality of roads and pointed out that he, too, had to face it with nearly a dozen bovines blocking his entry to the high court premises and that enforcement agencies were not discharging their duties on this.
“Why can’t the AMC create an animal hostel where all these stray animals can be shifted. There is no provision of such a facility in the city,” Pathan, who is Congress councillor from Danilimda told The Indian Express.
Another councillor of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) from Jamalpur ward Mushtaq Khadiwala raised the issue of rats damaging streets and blocking drainage pipelines.
“Instead of using sand and rocks for streets inside the walled city areas, the AMC should go for concrete RCC ones with metals which will also save costs of the AMC. The walled city areas of Jamalpur has a huge menace of rats that pull out all the sand and mud from the streets and create huge gaps as they ingress. When a vehicle moves on these gaps the streets caves in leading to accidents,” Mushtaq Khadiwala said during the meeting.
“Also, with all the mud they block the drainage pipes leading to choking on the streets and inside houses. The rat menace persists for years now but there is no roadmap by AMC,” Khadiwala told The Indian Express.
Another first time councillor of the same party, Afsanabanu Chisty, also from Jamalpur ward raised the issue of pigs that even bite children.
“Due to the fear of pigs, children are scared to step outside their houses. They even bite them,” she said at the meeting.
The issue is of Raikhad area where the old premises of Prakash cloth mill which is closed since decades has dilapidated with the compound wall giving in at places. This invites pigs that roam and even enter houses and bite children, say the residents.
To this, the Mayor Kirit Parmar pointed out that councillors are only talking about animals as some are raising the issue of dogs, others are talking about cattle and pigs.
He also pointed out the issue of deployment of private bouncers at AMC run hospitals like VS hospital, LG Hospital and zonal offices.