The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Delhi government and the civic agencies in a PIL seeking implementation of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs), Rules, 2001, to control the stray dog population in the city.
The PIL filed by NGO Nyayabhoomi — through its President Lt Col B B Sharan — states that RTI replies had been received from 16 out of 50 city hospitals, which had revealed that over 25,000 persons were treated for dog bites between October-December 2013. This indicated that over 300 dog bite cases were reported every day, the plea stated.
The court of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva has sought status reports from the government and civic agencies on work being done to control the stray dog population, as well as the implementation of the rules by May 13. Observing that reports had indicated that there are nearly five lakh stray dogs in the city, the NGO had said even though civic agencies carry out sterilisation and vaccination of dogs regularly, “the number of dogs is so large that vaccination cannot cope with the strength”.
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“If figures from all 50 hospitals had been received, this figure is expected to be around 800 per day,” the plea said.
Observing that a “majority of victims were from poor and low income groups”, the plea also stated that the Anti Rabies Vaccine (ARV) costs around Rs 140. “With an estimated 800 people being bitten every day, monthly costs on ARVs comes to Rs 33,60,000,” the plea said.
The plea also said two or more dog pounds should be established in each municipal ward. This should be manned by the sanitation department by detailing two safai karamcharis working in three shifts, the plea said. The NGO also said the pounds can be converted in to adoption centres.