You won’t see them hogging the city streets for much longer. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning to shift all pigs outside the city and to settle them in around 15 acres of barren land in Mundhwa, by forming societies of the animals’ owners.
According to a recent survey by the civic body’s health department, currently there are 4,500 pigs in the city. The nuisance caused by pigs and their owners is mainly evident in suburbs and villages that have of late come under PMC’s jurisdiction. To find a solution, additional municipal commissioner Rajendra Jagtap called a meeting of officials from all wards and other concerned departments yesterday morning.
“We have delegated the task of conducting parleys with pig owners to explain this new project and convince them to shift their business to Mundhwa. It is quite challenging, as mostly this problem exists in slum areas, and changing the minds of the owners would not be easy,” said a ward officer on the condition of anonymity.
Additional municipal commissioner Jagtap said “We are planning to form societies with 25 pig owners in each. According to rules, like stray dogs, PMC cannot kill pigs either. Past attempts to catch them after receiving complaints from residents also did not succeed, as the community involved in this business got violent.
On the other hand, PMC does not have adequate facilities to carry out such a drive. That’s why, rather than just shifting the pigs from one area to another, we are planning to rehabilitate them.”
“After forming societies, we will allot specific plots to each group. Apart from land, we will provide them water and approach roads too,” he added. In the past, instances of pigs turning violent and attacking people have been reported several times. “I remember one man being admitted to a private hospital after getting badly injured in such an episode,” said Dr ST Pardeshi, head of PMC’s health department.
RT Shinde, deputy municipal commissioner of PMC’s land and estate department, said, “In Mundhwa area, PMC has 85 acresof barren land. Out of this, we can apportion 15 acres for this project.”
“The main hurdle in running this scheme is that unlike for cattle, identifying pig owners is quite difficult. Another probability is that if we allot land directly to the owners, they might sell it to others and return to the city. That’s why we are going to designate plots to societies and not individuals,” Shinde added.
‘Not the answer’
Meanwhile pet lover and unit head of People for Animal NGO Manoj Oswal opposed the move of PMC, saying this will not solve the problem. “Pig farming is bread and butter of many families. So, ideally PMC should take action against those who are running this business illegally, and pigs owned by them wander about dustbins and drains. Shifting all pigs outside the city is not the answer,” he said.
“What kind of environment PMC is going to set up for the project also remains to be seen. If they are just going to dump the pigs outside the city, then I have serious objections,” Oswal added.
Approximate no of pigs in areas under PMC’s jurisdiction