The South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s dog sterlisation centre in Dwarka’s Sector 29, which was constructed around six months ago, is yet to start operations because there is no power supply to the facility.
This, at a time when Delhi records over 40 cases of dog bites each day and over 1 lakh non-sterilised dogs are in South Delhi alone, as per the civic body’s data. As rabies is untreatable, vaccinating dogs remains the only effective strategy to save people.
Built at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, the facility has a capacity of sterilising 80 dogs per day. Member of the South body standing committee Rajpal Singh, who raised the issue in its meeting Wednesday, said, “If this was operational, thousands of dogs could have been sterilised… this is a waste of funds.”
A senior official said the area is non-electrified so the department had contacted BSES for installing electric poles and had even deposited Rs 55 lakh for the purpose. “But the road from where the underground cable has to pass belongs to the Flood and Irrigation department… they said they can’t allow cutting the road as it is on encroached land,” the official said.
A senior Flood and Irrigation department official said the proposal reached them only a few days ago. “We have forwarded it to our administrative department. In three-four days, they will get the permission,” the official said.
Commissioner of South MCD Puneet Goel has ordered officials to pursue the matter with seniors in the Flood and Irrigation department to resolve the issue. As per the World Health Organisation, about 30-60% of reported rabies cases and deaths in India occur in children under 15, as bites often go unrecognised and unreported.
An internal survey by South MCD in 2017 said that over 1,24,000 unsterilised dogs are in South Delhi.
Currently, civic agencies have 12 dog sterilisation centres, which are run with the help of seven NGOs. The department had planned to open the dog sterilisation centre at Dwarka in 2018.