The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, whose mandate under the Pet Dogs and Street Dogs - Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001 includes control of stray animals, has no trained dog catchers, no dog vans and driver for these vans.

LMC, which incidentally is the richest corporation in the state, has incinerators for disposal of dead animals.

According to records of the Municipal Corporation, the city has a total of 21,735 stray dogs in the city.
The information was furnished by LMC in reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by the well-known social scientist and a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Dr Harish K Puri.

“Perturbed over the increasing stray dog population in the city and the health hazard posed by them to human beings, I sought this information from LMC under RTI,” said Puri.

The information, however, did not come easy. “It did not come without the intervention of the Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab State Information Commission,” said Dr Puri, who had filed the application in May this year.

“LMC did not bother to send me a reply. It was only when I took the matter to the state commission that the latter asked LMC to furnish a reply or present itself before the commission bench on October 15. LMC replied on 13 October.”

"LMC claims to have carried out a survey to ascertain the number of stray dogs in March this year. Amritsar has 76,000 stray dogs and if you believe the LMC figures, Ludhiana, which is a much bigger and more populated city, has only about 21,735 stray dogs," Dr Puri adds.

"To compare the two cities I had sought the same information from Amritsar Municipal Corporation also. What is more shocking is the fact that the LMC had this survey done by its sanitation staff, that is sweepers, sanitary supervisor and sanitary inspector. No specific agency was hired for the survey."

When contacted, LMC Commissioner Vikas Partap said, "We are working on a project to check the menace. We are in touch with the Animal Welfare Board of India, which has a scheme called CNVR — Catch Neutralise Vaccinate and Release. Even our Mayor Hakam Singh and Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal are involved in solving the issue. We will hopefully take concrete steps in the coming months."

Ludhiana: November 14
Amrita Chaudhry
Express India

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