No dog census in Delhi for 6 yrs; SDMC fails to get bidders
The last count of street dogs was done in 2009 for the then unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) which had pegged their population at around 5.62 lakh. But, after its trifurcation into North, South and East Corporations (NDMC, SDMC and EDMC) in 2012, none of the three civic bodies had taken up the exercise.
“We are planning to conduct a dog census in our area and for that we had come out with the bidding. The last date to apply was August 10. Unfortunately, we have received no bidders,” Veterinary Director, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), RBS Tyagi said on Sunday.
The death of a seven-year-old boy in Jamia Nagar area earlier this month after being attacked by a pack of dogs has brought into spotlight the issue of street dog menace and safety of citizens in the streets, with both the Delhi High Court and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) taking cognisance of the issue. After the August 4 incident in south Delhi, the High Court had sought a report from SDMC on measures by it to curb dog menace in its area. Recently, the NHRC issued notices to Delhi government and the Centre seeking replies from both on dealing with ‘human rights versus animal rights’ issue.
Taking <g data-gr-id="38">suo</g> <g data-gr-id="39">motu</g> cognisance of media reports on the stray dog menace, the commission has called for a wider debate by the civil society on pitting human rights against animal rights ‘in a situation where human lives are at risk due to attack by animals’.
“Prima facie, it is of the view that human rights should weigh above animal rights in a situation where human lives are at risk due to attack by animals. However, this calls for a debate by the civil society,” the NHRC said. According to Tyagi, “The last census was done in 2009 where the count stood at 5.62 lakh.”
However, a senior NDMC official said that the census was done by a private body and "not officially by the MCD”.
NDMC and EDMC are also understood to be contemplating conducting dog census in their respective <g data-gr-id="41">areas</g> but there is no official word on this from the two corporations. While many people, who have been living in fear of streets dogs in dark streets, especially after the Jamia Nagar incident, allege lack of action on the part of the MCD, the corporations have claimed that they have sterilised several thousands of dogs in the past few years.
“From April 2012 to March 2015, SDMC has sterilised 47,140 streets dogs, which is nearly thrice the corresponding numbers for North and East Corporations.The individual figures are –April 2012-March 2013 –13,393; April 2013-March 2014 – 14,349; and April 2014-March 2015 – 19,398,” Tyagi said.
The number of sterilized dogs for NDMC from April 2012 to June 2015 stands at 19,128 while the figure for EDMC stands at 19,206 from April 2012 to May 2015.