The animal birth control (ABC) centre at Konakkarari in Tiruchy
The animal birth control (ABC) centre at Konakkarari in TiruchyExpress | MK Ashok Kumar

Budget decision on six more animal birth control centres a publicity stunt, say Tiruchy residents

Currently, the corporation has ABC centres at Ariyamangalam, JJ Nagar, Konakkarai and Ambedkar Nagar.

TIRUCHY: The corporation budget for financial year 2024-25 (FY25) tabled earlier this week announced the opening of six additional animal birth control (ABC) centres in the city. While this would take the total number of ABC centres in the city to ten by the end of FY25, residents remain skeptical about its implementation as they pointed out that the corporation was yet to fulfil a similar promise made in the previous budget.

Currently, the corporation has ABC centres at Ariyamangalam, JJ Nagar, Konakkarai and Ambedkar Nagar. The civic body in the 2023-24 budget allocated Rs 50 lakh for the construction of an additional ABC centre, stating that this would ensure that there is one such facility to sterilise dogs in each zone.

It, however, has not fulfilled the promise till date. Sources said that this was so as the corporation was unable to zero in on a suitable site for the fifth ABC centre. Against this backdrop, city residents consider the announcement on additional ABC centres in the latest budget a publicity stunt. "I request officials take a walk down the interior streets of Woraiyur at night.

They would then understand our situation and find how community dogs even chase two-wheeler riders. What is the corporation doing to address the problem? How would it protect our kids from stray dogs? The civic body announced six additional ABC centres as they don't have any answers to the issues," said Susmita B of Woraiyur. M Udayakumar of Ariyamangalam, who had taken up the issue of stray dog menace with the corporation several times in the past, said,

“The civic body completed construction of the ABCs in JJ Nagar and Ariyamangalam in December 2022. It, however, was able to commence operations at the two centres only by June 2023 as it struggled to get qualified veterinarians to run them. What assurance is there then that it won't run into such an issue if the number of ABC centres is increased to ten? In my opinion, it would be better if the corporation considered augmenting the capacity of the existing four ABC centres than construct new ones.”

While officials failed to offer an explanation on why the corporation didn’t set up the fifth ABC as announced in the previous budget, their seniors claimed that the matter will also be sorted out by the end of the upcoming financial year. "Sterilisation is the lone way to control stray dog population. Though we were not able to establish the fifth ABC centre last year, we will ensure that six more of the facility are constructed and made operational before the next financial year (FY26)," a senior corporation official said.

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