Coimbatore: The city's VVIP area, Race Course, where almost all the top district officials, including the collector reside, is also not spared from the dog menace.
Regular walkers at Race Course are irked by packs of strays prowling around the walking track. Several walkers at the Race Course say that packs of dogs are found near the bus stop adjacent to the cluster of eateries and a pack is always found hiding in the bushes of the government arts college hostel campus.
Race Course is the city's famous hang-out place where a large number of people from across the city regularly come, either for their morning walk or to catch up with friends. However, they end up facing the stray dog menace.
"There are around 20 to 30 stray dogs found in Thomas Park housing unit in Race Course. The dogs hide in the parking areas and create a big nuisance. We have already petitioned the Coimbatore corporation, but no action has been taken to control the dog population," said Mr Ravikumar, treasurer of the Thomas Park housing unit welfare association at Race Course.
Residents of Coimbatore who used to wake up to roosters' morning calls are now badgered by the snarls and howls of dogs all through the day and night. Says Mr Mohammed Nawab Hussain, resident of Ganapathy Layout in K.K. Pudur in Saibaba Colony, "Stray dogs give us sleepless nights as they keep barking all through the night.
Sometimes, they are a big threat to residents who return home late at night. Most stray dogs are habitual chasers and relentlessly chase two-wheeler riders, cyclists, milk vendors and newpaper boys.
Mr Yoganandhan Jayaraman, resident of Gandhi Ma Nagar, said the stray dog population is on the rise in Gandhi Ma Nagar and its neighbourhood at Police quarters, Murugannagar, V.O.C. Nagar and FCI colony residential areas. "There seems to be no stray dog control programme," he says.
ABC plan for birth control goes astray:
The animal birth control (ABC) programme, aimed at creating a rabies-free city and curbing the stray population, has come a cropper over the years and the corporation has now handed it over to another NGO, People for Animals.
Till last year, the ABC programme was vested with People for Animals - unit I and NGO Humane Animal Society. They claimed to sterilise 300 dogs a month but there was no respite from the dog menace in the city.
As the sterilisation programme taken up by these two organisations was found to be unsatisfactory, the previous mayor S.M. Velusamy handed over the programme to People for Animals - unit II which is being managed by Animal Welfare Board officer Kalpana Vasudevan, in February 2014,.
Kalpana told DC that ever since the corporation handed over the newly constructed ABC centre at Ukkadam to PFA - unit II, about 2,200 dogs have been sterilised. The centre has a doctor who operates on 25 dogs a day. Besides sterilisation, the mongrels are also vaccinated for rabies.
Dogs that thrive close to drains and ditches are identified for sterilisation and vaccination as they are more prone to infections. "The sum of Rs 445 that is given by the corporation for each dog is insufficient; nevertheless, at least 500 dogs are vaccinated a month. In order to ensure accountability, the ears of the dogs are notched," she said.
Kalpana has been given the task of sterilising dogs in 80 wards. However, DMK councillor Meena Logu said in her eight-long years as ward councillor, she has not once seen any dog being picked up for sterilisation. Dog menace continues unabated in Thairitteri, she lamented. She has also been sterilising dogs in Erode and Pallipalayam.
Eighty of the 100 wards of the corporation were handed over to PFA - unit II after the success of the ABC programme in Erode, she said. She has also been tying up with other NGOs to intensify the programme.
However, DMK councillor Meena Logu said in her eight-long years as ward councillor, she has not once seen any dog being picked up for sterilisation. Dog menace continues unabated in Thairitteri, she lamented.
Location: Tamil Nadu