NDMC fights a losing battle against stray dogs

The NDMC is flooded with complaints of dog menace in its jurisdiction with officials running out of options on how to curb it.

Officials at the NDMC Veterinary Institute, Moti Bagh are seeing a rise in complaints — mostly from the VVIP areas.

The highest number of complaints are from Netaji Nagar, Laxmi Bai Nagar, Lodhi Garden, New Moti Bagh, Gole Market and Bharti Nagar.

“We have seen a rise in complaints of dog menace. We carry out area-wise operations in which the stray dogs are picked up and sent to an NGO which carries out sterilisation and vaccination. The NDMC pays the NGO for the services. Otherwise, we act on complaints received from residents,” said Dr Pramod Kumar, medical superintendent, Veterinary Institute, Moti Bagh.

New Delhi Municipal Council officials expressed helplessness on how to tackle the situation. On an average, 100-120 strays are picked up by the council for sterilisation and vaccination. Once with an NGO, the dogs are “socialised” and then left in the localities again.

“This is the process of rehabilitating stray dogs. There are lesser chances of the dogs causing harm once they undergo socialisation,” said Dr Kumar. However, animal activists often come in the way of the strays being picked up from localities and sent to the NGOs, according to NDMC officials.

“We are in a fix as animal activists object to the stray dogs being picked up from the localities. On the other hand, the residents want the dogs to be displaced. Most of the stray dogs picked up are neither sterilised nor vaccinated. But the activists do not realise this,” said a senior NDMC official.

With a limited capacity in the NGO-run home for the strays and no dedicated pet homes run by the council, there is not much that can be done to curb the menace, said officials.
“There is no NDMC land where a home for strays can come up. This should be taken up by the council,” said the official. The council is now planning to tie up with Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) to promote adoption of strays in their jurisdictions.

“We will coordinate with the RWAs and NGOs and promote the concept of adoption of stray dogs,” said an official at the NDMC Health Department. The council is currently running a pilot project in Lodhi Garden where seven staff members have been deployed to socialise stray dogs in the area.

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