Kochi: The much tom-tommed animal birth control (ABC) project of Ernakulam district panchayat has been found to be a damp squib with only 5.8 percent of the sanctioned Rs 15 lakh utilised for the project in 2015-16. The project was implemented only in Perumbavoor while the stray dog menace continues in most parts of the district.
During his tenure as the District Panchayat president, the current MLA of Perumbavoor Eldhose Kunnappilly had conceived the ABC project and sanctioned Rs 15 lakh in 2015-16 to take on the stray dog menace after several stray dog attacks were reported from the district.
However, not even Rs 1 lakh was spent on the project which had the Animal Husbandry Department as the implementing partner, according to the audit report for 2015-16. The project was set to be implemented through the veterinary poly clinics in Aluva and Muvattupuzha and the veterinary hospitals in Perumbavoor and Tripunithura.
Five veterinary doctors each, dog catchers and attenders were selected to implement the project in an interview held on September 7, 2015. However, though the stray dog menace is rampant in the district, the district panchayat was able to implement it only in Perumbavoor and the remaining amount was carried over to the next year. However, according to officials, not much activity happened in 2016-17 also when Asha Sanil was presiding.
Even as this lethargy continued, eastern parts like Muvattupuzha registered many stray dog attacks. The report underscores the failure by the district panchayat in implementing a project that is crucial to the lives of the people in the district. The report also records that another much touted project of setting up a touch screen kiosk at the district panchayat office at a cost of Rs 2.44 lakh also failed to meet its objective with the system not functioning since October 2016. The audit wing hence objected to the spending.