Villagers lock horns with TMC over horse's burial

Jun 21, 2017, 19:59 IST | Faisal Tandel

The animal was put down after it was found to have been suffering from contagious disease

Activist Santosh Patil at the spot where the horse was buried

The recent burial of a horse suffering from a contagious disease in Daighar village in Thane has raised the hackles of locals.

On June 7, Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) officials reportedly put down a horse afflicted with Glanders -- a contagious and highly fatal disease affecting horses, donkeys and mules -- and buried him in a pit in the village.

But the burial spot was just 500 m from a residential locality, sparking fears of the spread of the disease. Glanders can be naturally contracted by other mammals such as goats, dogs, and cats. It is rare in humans, but people can become infected through direct contact with affected animals.

RT Kendre, health officer in TMC, said the horse was from Kopri (Thane). "The state department of animal husbandry recently took a blood sample of the horse and found that it was suffering from Glanders. "We took him outside the city and put him down. We followed the central and state government rules while doing so."

The horse was buried just 500 m from a residential locality
The horse was buried just 500 m from a residential locality

Santosh Patil, an activist and member of Daighar Sangarch Samiti, said this action exposed residents of Daighar, barely 55 m from the spot of burial, to the infection. "The spot where the horse was buried was found unsuitable by then Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and the pollution control board for use as a dumping ground in 2002. Besides, the pit dug up wasn't deep enough. Instead of a 6-ft-deep pit, the authorities hollowed out only a 3-ft space."

Patil said he has raised this issue with Ashok Rankhamb, additional municipal commissioner, TMC, and has been assured of remedial action. "I will now approach Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal."

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