New Delhi: Alarmed over "increasing" number of stray dogs in its jurisdiction, North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Friday said over 19,000 canines were sterilised and immunised in the last three years and all possible steps are being taken to prevent dog bites or rabies cases.
North Delhi Mayor Ravinder Gupta today also claimed that about 80 per cent of the stray dogs have been caught by the corporation's staff and handed over to NGO's for sterilisation and anti-rabies immunisation.
"The corporation has from April 2012 to June 2013 sterilised and immunised 19,128 dogs."
"The figures are April 2012 to March 2013 -- 5069; April 2013 to March 2014 -- 5722; April 2014 to March 2015-- 6746; and April to June 2015-- 1591," he said.
The Mayor also said that NDMC, besides the existing five, has hired another NGO 'Krishna Ashram' to strengthen its sterilisation and anti-rabies immunisation programme of stray dogs.
The other five NGO are -- Friendicoes Seca, Animal India Trust, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care, Sonadi Charitable Trust, and Neighbourhood Woof.
None of the three civic bodies - North, South and East Corporations have sterilisation facilities and they partner with NGOs for the programme, following the norms of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2011 laid down by the Centre.
"The North Corporation engaged the NGO at their quoted rate of Rs 760/- per dog for catching, vaccinating, sterilising and releasing them back to the locality they were picked up from."
"He said that the corporation is concerned about the increasing number of stray dogs in its jurisdiction and is taking all possible steps to control and prevent dog bites or rabies cases," the Mayor added.The NDMC is also in the process of setting up its own sterilisation and anti-rabies immunisation centers at Sector-27 in Rohini and Lucknow Road, Timarpur.
"While for Rohini, we are planning a veterinary hospital and sterilisation centre and are in the process of finalsing it, in Timarpur we have our own animal pound where we are looking to start a sterilisation centre and very soon that project should take off," a senior NDMC official said.
The official said that complaints of dog menace and dog bites do come from the areas under NDMC, and a "few months ago a child was fatally attacked by dogs in Old Delhi."
"So, we seek to keep their breeding under control and prevent any chances of transmitting rabies infection," he said.
Recently, a seven-year-old boy died after being attacked by a pack of dogs in south Delhi's Jamia Nagar prompting the Delhi High Court to seek a report from the SDMC on implementation of controlling street dog menace, a move that has put other civic bodies on the toes.