The city is home to nearly 1.02 lakh stray dogs, of which over 30,000 are yet to undergo sterilisation. Following this revelation, the BMC has decided to spend Rs 15 crore on the sterilisation process – the highest amount to be spent on this initiative in the last 17 years. The initiative is part of the dog control department's Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme.
Six NGOs oversee the stray dog sterilisation process. Representation pic
According to data available with civic body, BMC-appointed agencies have sterilised 2.80 lakh stray dogs at a cost of Rs 10.01 crore, in the last 17 years. Under the ABC programme, the agencies have sterilised 2.30 lakh dogs at a cost of R6.47 crore from October 5, 1998 to March 31, 2011. After NGOs started contributing to the initiative, 24,856 dogs were sterilised between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2013. Following that phase, till March 31, 2017, 25,579 dogs were sterilised.
As per the dog census conducted in 2014, there were 95,172 stray dogs in the city of which 14,671 were male and 11,262 female.
A senior civic official from the health department said, "As per the Animal Welfare Board of India's (AWBI) instructions, we have to control the population of stray dogs – around 30 percent of the total population needs to be sterilised. Six NGOs oversee the sterilisation process for us. Till 2016, only four NGOs were working with us. But, since there wasn't any significant drop in the stray dog population, two more NGOs were inducted to expedite the work."
The official said a Rs 15.56 crore-worth contract under the ABC programme, for the next three years, is being sent to the Standing Committee for approval.
Speaking about the rise in the budget, the official added, "The expected expenditure of sterilisation is around R8.61 crore for three years, but the budget has been fixed at R15.56 crore to ensure any obstacle, such as a rise in the cost of sterilisation, doesn't hamper the progress of the initiative."
Watch video: Dahisar river touches the danger mark near National Park
Download the new mid-day android app to get updates on all the latest and trending stories on the go https://goo.gl/8Xlcvr