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Fund crisis hits GMC�s sterilisation project

By MANASH PRATIM DUTTA
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GUWAHATI, May 8 - Crisis of fund has posed a challenge for the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) in managing the menace of stray dogs in the city.

According to sources at the GMC, the civic had submitted a proposal of Rs 50 lakh to the State government to carry out a drive to sterilise stray dogs in the city. But so far the State government has sanctioned only Rs 25 lakh for the purpose. This is the main reason behind the delay in speedy implementation of the project, the sources said.

The GMC started the sterilisation drive in the first half of 2018 in collaboration with Just Be Friendly (JBF), an NGO that works on street dogs of Assam. GMC has also signed an MoU with the NGO, under which it provides Rs 900 per dog, along with monitoring and evaluating the process by forming an expert committee.

According to the sources at GMC, till date around 3,000 stray dogs have been sterilised by the NGO. But the project may have to be discontinued soon if the State government does not sanction the required fund at the earliest.

The latest canine menace came to light when a stray dog created panic among pedestrians for several hours in Chandmari, Lakhtokia and Panbazar areas of the city. The dog, purportedly a mad one, attacked and injured more than 45 people till Tuesday evening and most of them had to be admitted to emergency wards of various hospitals.

The incident also proved serious violation of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rule, 2001.

The rule says, �In case of furious dog on the receipt of complaints from the public to the Dog Control Cell of the Local Authority or on its own, the dog squad of the Local Authority would catch such dogs. The caught dog would then be taken to the pound where it would be isolated in an isolation ward. The suspected rabid dog would then be subjected to inspection by a panel of two persons i.e. a veterinary surgeon appointed by the Local Authority and a representative from an Animal Welfare Organisation (AWO).�

The rule further states, �If the dog is found to have a high probability of having rabies, it would be isolated till it dies a natural death. Death normally occurs within 10 days of contracting rabies. Premature killings of suspected rabid dogs therefore prevent the true incidence of rabies from being known and appropriate action being taken. If the dog is found not to have rabies but some other disease it would be handed over to the AWOs who will take the necessary action to cure and rehabilitate the dog.�

But in Guwahati, no implementation of the rule came to light till filing of this report on Wednesday evening. The GMC has only directed JBF to capture the dog. But the JBF team has not succeeded in its operation so far. However, according to the sources at the GMC, the �mad� dog may have died a natural death by now.

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Fund crisis hits GMC�s sterilisation project

GUWAHATI, May 8 - Crisis of fund has posed a challenge for the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) in managing the menace of stray dogs in the city.

According to sources at the GMC, the civic had submitted a proposal of Rs 50 lakh to the State government to carry out a drive to sterilise stray dogs in the city. But so far the State government has sanctioned only Rs 25 lakh for the purpose. This is the main reason behind the delay in speedy implementation of the project, the sources said.

The GMC started the sterilisation drive in the first half of 2018 in collaboration with Just Be Friendly (JBF), an NGO that works on street dogs of Assam. GMC has also signed an MoU with the NGO, under which it provides Rs 900 per dog, along with monitoring and evaluating the process by forming an expert committee.

According to the sources at GMC, till date around 3,000 stray dogs have been sterilised by the NGO. But the project may have to be discontinued soon if the State government does not sanction the required fund at the earliest.

The latest canine menace came to light when a stray dog created panic among pedestrians for several hours in Chandmari, Lakhtokia and Panbazar areas of the city. The dog, purportedly a mad one, attacked and injured more than 45 people till Tuesday evening and most of them had to be admitted to emergency wards of various hospitals.

The incident also proved serious violation of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rule, 2001.

The rule says, �In case of furious dog on the receipt of complaints from the public to the Dog Control Cell of the Local Authority or on its own, the dog squad of the Local Authority would catch such dogs. The caught dog would then be taken to the pound where it would be isolated in an isolation ward. The suspected rabid dog would then be subjected to inspection by a panel of two persons i.e. a veterinary surgeon appointed by the Local Authority and a representative from an Animal Welfare Organisation (AWO).�

The rule further states, �If the dog is found to have a high probability of having rabies, it would be isolated till it dies a natural death. Death normally occurs within 10 days of contracting rabies. Premature killings of suspected rabid dogs therefore prevent the true incidence of rabies from being known and appropriate action being taken. If the dog is found not to have rabies but some other disease it would be handed over to the AWOs who will take the necessary action to cure and rehabilitate the dog.�

But in Guwahati, no implementation of the rule came to light till filing of this report on Wednesday evening. The GMC has only directed JBF to capture the dog. But the JBF team has not succeeded in its operation so far. However, according to the sources at the GMC, the �mad� dog may have died a natural death by now.