Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday sanctioned an additional Rs 55 lakh to feed stray animals in all urban pockets during the COVID-19 lockdown which is in force in the state since May 5, an official said.
The funds released from the Chief Minister Relief Fund (CMRF), will be utilised in the state’s five municipal corporations, 48 municipalities and 61 notified area councils (NACS).
Patnaik had earlier on May 9 released Rs 60 lakh from the CMRF for feeding stray animals.
NGOs and social organisations are being engaged to feed the stray animals.
While, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) can utilise Rs 20,000 towards food distribution among animals per day, the municipal corporations of Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Berhampur can spend Rs 10,000 every day for the purpose.
The 48 municipalities have been granted Rs 5,000 each and the NACs will receive Rs 2,000 each.
The quality of food for the stray animals is checked by experts at the Sub-Divisional Veterinary Office of the Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department, while the BMC provides logistics for the transportation of the cooked food and cattle feed to the various zones.
Natabara Panda, a senior citizen from Jaydev Vihar area in the city said, “the civic authorities are doing a good job by providing food to stray animals during lockdown. As responsible citizens, we should also keep water vessels near our homes for stray animals during summer.”
Environmentalist Bijay Mishra of Nayapalli Nuasahi said, “we should have water vessels on rooftops for birds. As a long-term plan, the city should have small bird houses at major squares and public spaces.”