BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has spent close to Rs 18 crore over the last six years on Animal Birth Control (ABC) for dogs, but the menace of stray dogs still continues. Monday’s attack on an 18-month-old boy has again exposed the failure of the authorities to effectively implement the ABC programme through non-government organisations.
Although BBMP has been spending huge sums, it do not have enough officials in the Animal Husbandry Department to oversee the programme implementation. According to sources, there are 11 posts in the department. This includes one Joint Director and other Assistant Directors.
Sources in BBMP said that at present, of the sanctioned posts, only a Joint Director and two assistant directors are working. “There were 10 Assistant directors of which eight were sent back to their parent department. Now, there is a proposal to depute four Assistant Directors. Even then, there will be shortage of staff. With the existing staff, it is not humanly possible to supervise a city like Bangalore,” sources said. The Assistant Directors supervise the ABC programme.
The Palike, which calls for tender every year, has allotted tender to five NGOs. This includes Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), Animal Rights Fund (ARF), Sarvodaya Sevabhavi Samstha, Vets for Animals and Richa Agharwal Foundation. No census has been conducted by BBMP or NGOs, but it is estimated there are more stray dogs in the outer zones and less in the core areas.
Between April and September this year,BBMP has conducted ABC on 16,627 dogs spending Rs 98,65,489. The Palike pays anywhere between Rs 450 and Rs 600 for every dog sterilised. On an average, 2,500 to 3,000 dogs are sterilised in a month. “When NGOs comes to us with a specific number of dogs they have sterilised, our officials will verify and clear the bills. But, with the staff crunch, it has become difficult,” sources said.
As per Rule 7 of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, stray dogs cannot be dislocated, but can only be sterilised. “We therefore leave dogs at the same place and that is why the number of dogs looks the same. It has not increased,” Dr T Shivarama Bhat, Joint Director (Animal Husbandry) of BBMP said.