KOCHI: The plans to set up the Animal Birth Control (ABC) Centre by the Kochi Corporation in Chullickal in West Kochi to solve the increasing stray dog menace have been stalled as a section of people have played spoilsport.This has resulted in untold difficulties for the residents of West Kochi.
The funds have been earmarked, the location has been identified and all the necessary clearances have been received. The hurdle is due to lack of political will of the local leader, K J Sohan, chairman, Town Planning Committee, said.
The work of the Rs 5-lakh project is unnecessarily being held up due to this, he said. He said the political leadership of the area should be more responsible and help in establishing the centre at the earliest.
Amid allegations blaming the officials for not taking steps towards setting up the project, project engineer Jolly Varghese said nothing can be done by appointing officials alone. There is opposition to setting up the centre at the proposed place.
The project was cleared during 2010-11 and could not be taken up even after tendering it twice.
The project was included in this year’s budget and the third contractor also encountered opposition when attempts were made to begin the work at the place where an old building of the local body stands. Only a small portion needs to be built and some modifications carried out. The intervention of the Mayor to solve the matter has not yielded any result.
Indian stray dogs
The number of dogs are increasing each day while the local body is struggling to find a solution to the issue. Children are afraid to go out as dogs move about in large numbers in the tourism zones, some of which are suspected to be infected with rabies. The foreign tourists are also exposed to the dog menace. The local hospitals have reported dog bite cases.
Stanley of Vadathazha Residents Association said that the ABC would have helped curb the rise in stray dogs. Adding oil to the fire is the attitude of some residents who abandon their dogs which become old and weak, he said.
According to A H Niyas, councillor, Chakkamadam, the dog menace is out of control. People are scared to go out at night. The situation is bad. Many dogs have met with their end due to poisoning
Some local leaders are known to dilly dally on such issues. Since they are not aware of the significance and benefits (not just for the animals but for the public too) of Animal Birth Control, they prefer to stall the decision or divert the allotted money for other projects. The increasing dog population creates a panic among the public and then the authorities and public resort to brutal means of poisoning and torturing dogs. A combination of mass Animal Birth Control, vaccinations and public awareness is the only effective solution to tackle the stray dog population.