The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to invoke a dormant clause in sanitation and cleanliness bylaws, which bans people from feeding animals and birds in public places. It also plans to fine offenders Rs500.
Dog lovers came in for severe criticism from the corporators for feeding strays in public places at the general body meeting on Monday.
Local corporators raised a ruckus over feeding of dogs in public places, and cited Thursday’s incident in Vile Parle (E) where a nine-year-old girl, Sonavi Chitale, who was allegedly bitten by six stray dogs.
Sunil Prabhu, leader of the house, demanded the administration apprise the Court of the situation and allow BMC to take action by putting “violent” stray dogs to sleep, as sterilisation was proving to be ineffective.
“We request the administration to take this matter to Court as it’s become a nuisance for senior citizens and children. There’s already a provision in the BMC Act to fine all those who feed animals,” said Shashikant Patkar, Sena corporator from Vile Parle.
Congress corporator, Nitin Salagre said that they were not against dog lovers. “But we have to be responsible towards our taxpayers who find it difficult to go on their morning walks. When people feed on roads, the pack of dogs start fighting for food. Should action be taken only after somebody is bitten by a dog?” he said.
BJP corporator Chandrakant Pawar suggested that the police be given powers to fine at night when the BMC’s nuisance detectors were off-duty.
Kishore Gajbhiye, additional municipal commissioner (western suburbs), assured the house that the administration will make a special appeal to the court. “I’ve already alerted the ward offices to impose fines on people. We have a dog control squad at Mahalaxmi, Malad, Ghatkopar and Bandra who can be approached by residents, if residents are troubled by dogs,”he said.