Residents hoping to enjoy the day with their pets at the city’s first pet dog park will have to wait longer, as the municipal corporation (MC) has stalled the project due to severe financial crunch.
Announced in February, the facility, touted as a dog recreational facility, was to come up on 1.5 acres in Sector 42 at a cost of around Rs 50 lakh.
But, with the civic body running a deficit budget and struggling to meet even its establishment costs, it has decided that no funds can be spared for the ambitious project.
Confirming this, MC commissioner KK Yadav said, “MC doesn’t have adequate funds to start any new project. MC will not be taking up the dog park project because of financial constraints.”
The facility, which would have been north India’s first dog park, was mooted by Punjab governor and UT administrator VPS Badnore.
As per the 2019 animal census of the UT animal husbandry and fisheries department, there are around 11,100 pet dogs in Chandigarh, up from 9,800 in the 2012 census.
Figures collected from MC reveal that it has so far registered around 8,000 pets ever since the bylaws came into force in 2010.
Though the city has 1,800 small and big neighbourhood parks, pet dogs are not allowed there. Hence, the dog park was planned as an exclusive park for them.
The park’s concept, based on one in Hyderabad, incorporates a number of facilities, like swimming pool and swings meant for pets, equipment to train pets and veterinary doctor for vaccination, besides the facility for pet dog registration.
Depending on the success of the first dog park, MC had planned more in other sectors of the city.
MC, however, has not permanently junked the idea. “The project is still workable, but not in this fiscal, unless, additional funds are allocated for it,” Yadav said.
MC FLOATS TENDER FOR DOG STERILISATION
To restart dog sterilisation in the city after a gap of nearly eight months, the civic body has floated fresh tenders for the animal birth control programme with a few changes to elicit better response.
Since August last year, MC has floated tenders thrice, inviting private companies to undertake sterilisation of dogs. The tender floated in August last year found no takers. The one in December 2019 got only one bidder. Similarly, only one applicant qualified in the tender floated in February this year.
Stating that tender conditions had been tweaked to attract more applicants, Dr Amrit Warring, head of the sanitation department and medical officer of health (MoH), said, “Earlier only NGO recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India could participate in the programme. But now, veterinary doctors with degrees can also participate.”
Meanwhile, as per an MC General House resolution, MC’s in-house staff has been deputed to carry out the sterilisation programme till a private entity is roped in.