MC Commissioner V P Singh on Tuesday said the civic body would sterilise nearly 15 dogs per day during its sterilisation programme starting from April 6.
“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with a Maharashtra-based agency to run a sterilisation campaign from April 6. We will ensure sterilisation of nearly 450 dogs per month,” he said during the MC House meet that was rocked by the dog menace issue.
Councillors raised the issue of recent dog-bite cases in Manimajra in which 14 people, including children, were injured. They questioned the ineffectiveness of the MC’s sterilisation campaign so far. A few councillors and the mayor indulged in blame game.
The commissioner admitted that the MC’s sterilisation in last one year was not properly carried out due to problems with the local agency hired for the job. The MC had attempted a tie-up with a Panchkula-based hospital but that did not materialise.
On the demand of several councillors, Singh said that a collar would be put on each of the dog after sterilisation for their easy identification.
The meeting saw many councillors raise demands for killing the dogs. But the commissioner clarified that the current law does not permit killing of dogs as it was just meant for the prevention of dog population.
Councillor Satinder Singh alleged that the MC failed to control the menace due to its lack of will. “Cities like Jaipur had controlled the dog population with concentrated efforts over the years but even after seven years of our sterilisation programme, the population of dogs had only increased manifold,” he said.
He blamed the MC for not taking councillors as well as citizens into confidence while framing the policy on the dog menace.
Akali Dal councillor Harjit Kaur said that councillors were never informed of the sterilisation schedule in their respective wards whereas they should have been made part of it.
BJP councillor Arun Sood alleged that Mayor Poonam Sharma’a recent letter to Maneka Gandhi was a political move. “If she wanted amendment to the Animal Birth Control rules, she should have met the union law minister or the union home minister, who are empowered to take a decision,” he said.
He said that as per the current law, sterilisation was the only preventive measure, which the present mayor had failed to address so far.
Responding to the charges, Mayor Sharma showed newspaper clippings pointing to indirect interference of Maneka Gandhi’s NGO in carrying out the official sterilisation programme in several cities, including Chandigarh. She asserted that present rules should be made stricter to control the stray animal population. She said she would even knock at the court’s door if required since she was deeply hurt seeing little children in pain due to recent dog-bites.
The mayor alleged that MP Kirron Kher had not even met victims of recent dog-bites.
On this, all the BJP councillors protested, with Arun Sood saying she was politicising the issue just to save her skin.