No stray dogs at Marine Drive ahead of Republic Day parade

Jan 26, 2014, 15:34 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Activists cry foul as BMC clears Marine Drive of stray dogs ahead of Republic Day parade, citing security reasons

Stray dogs are the biggest security threat to the nation. Or so the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would have us believe. In early morning swoops over four days that would have made commandos proud, BMC employees arrived at Marine Drive where the Republic Day parade is scheduled today, and packed 37 dogs into waiting vans.

BMC staff trap a dog in a bag. Over the past four days, civic workers have packed 37 dogs in waiting vans

With preparations for the R-Day parade at its peak and traffic diversions already in place since Friday, the reason for removing the dogs is unclear. Animal activists and dog lovers told Sunday MiD Day that there was no need to remove the stray animals as dogs by nature run away from crowded places. Civic authorities, however, claimed this was done to avoid any kind of nuisance that can be caused during the event on Sunday.

The BMC, though, is clearly worried about dogs. The civic body will also have three dog vans along with two employees and one police sub-inspector posted near each van, to make sure that stray dogs that escaped the drives, can be spotted and picked up. A senior BMC spokesperson said all the dogs would be dropped back to their original area of dwelling after the parade is over.

An animal activist, said, “How will the BMC remember which dog was picked up from which part of Marine Drive? Dogs are territorial and leaving a dog at a wrong location will create problems.”

When contacted, Assistant Health Officer, in charge of this drive at Marine Drive, Dr Rajesh Madan, said, “This is just a precautionary measure. The dogs will be returned to their original homes after the event.”

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