The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday observed that the recent trip to Nasik, made by a five-member team of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to study the steps taken there to deal with the stray dog menace, was avoidable as the information was available on the internet.
The bench consisting of Justice Rajan Gupta, which was hearing a PIL on the stray dog menace, asked for details of the expenditure incurred on the Nasik trip and summoned the municipal joint commissioner in the court on Thursday for resumed hearing.
It also sought the administration’s reponse on a news report which appeared in the Newsline on August 11 about a child who was bitten by stray dogs on his face in Bapu Dham Colony, and a picture of a stray dog at the Independence Day parade. The court wondered why such incidents were occurring when the corporation claimed that they had taken many measures to curb the menace.
In its affidavit, the corporation said that they had started a project in Sector16 to maintain cleanliness so that stray dogs were not attracted to filth and hence created a menace. It claimed the menace had been controlled after the implementation of a comprehensive scheme for management of stray dogs.
The court, however, observed that the efforts were not visible. The corporation gave details of various steps, including floating of e-tenders for hiring NGOs to control the menace, starting a helpline, challans issued for various violations, dustbins to maintain cleanliness, a second anti-rabies clinic in Sector 38 and providing rabies vaccination and serum at subsidised rates to dog bite victims.
However, the bench did not seem impressed and said that the City Beautiful was turning into a city for stray dogs. It said that by filing new affidavits, the case was only being dragged on while the court was interested in finding a solution.
The PIL was filed by a citizen Gurmukh Singh, who was attacked by stray dogs in the Rose Garden, but saved by passersby. He has requested for steps to curb the menace.