The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to hire seven vans along with skilled dog catchers to control the rising dog population and implement an anti-rabies vaccination scheme effectively in the city.
The BMC has said that due to lack of staff and resources, its dog sterilisation project and vaccination scheme for rabies have been hit hard. According to civic officials, there are only four dog catchers for the entire city.
The BMC has finalised a contractor for hiring the vans. The contractor, Aarti Corporation, will provide seven vans for two years. Each van will have four skilled staffers who will lead the dog sterilisation drive and vaccination programme. The BMC will spend Rs 2.51 crore on the contract. The proposal will be tabled before the Standing Committee on Friday for final approval.
As per the BMC census done in 2014, there were 95,174 dogs in the city. Of these it was found that 25,935 dogs were not sterilised. According to the Dog Control department, one female dog gives birth to an average four puppies and in one year these puppies are ready for reproduction, leading to an exponential rise in the population of stray dogs.
According to BMC data, in six years (2014 to 2019) the civic body has sterilised 90,703 dogs, which is very less. As per the norms of Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), 30 per cent of the total dog population should be sterilised annually. “Considering the dog population in Mumbai, every year about 32,000 dogs need to be sterilised. In 2019, only 18,912 dogs were sterilised which is far less,” said a BMC official.
Under the Animal Birth Control Programme, dog sterilisation is being executed by BMC staff and NGOs. Now the new contractor has been given a target of catching 34,944 dogs. In 1994, the BMC had for the first time initiated the dog sterilisation project.
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