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Home >> Media Coverage >> BMC wants to get Strays Out of City

BMC wants all of the city's stray dogs off the streets, says it will place them in dog homes to be built on the outskirts of Mumbai

The BMC wants Mumbai to become a stray dog-free city. It has not only asked the Bombay High Court for permission to set up dog homes on the outskirts of Mumbai, where all strays could be shifted, but has also written to the chief minister for 50 acres of land to set up such homes.

While the corporation placed its proposal for the homes before the court in April, deputy mayor Vidya Thakur (of the BJP) on Friday dashed off a letter to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh asking for 50 acres to build these homes for the city's five lakh strays. Thakur has said in her letter that strays would continue to create trouble, especially for children and elders, so long as they were allowed to roam the streets, and it was best to confine them within homes built for them.

Each dog home will house at least 10,000 strays, with a team of vets and other BMC employees stationed there full-time to look after the animals, she has said. The homes will have huge walls so that people staying in adjoining localities are not disturbed, she has added

Thakur also wants male and female strays to be placed in separate kennels in these homes, "so that breeding stops altogether and Mumbai becomes the first stray-free city in India."

According to Thakur, BMC has land at Deonar and Mulund to set up homes, but that will not be enough. Hence the demand for government land.

She has also suggested the setting up of a three-member committee comprising veterinary experts to oversee the entire plan.

Chief health executive officer at the BMC, Jayraj Thanekar said: "We are working on shifting of strays and have identified places in Deonar and Mulund for the shifting, but we will need more land to accommodate all strays." He also admitted that the corporation was thinking of separating male and female strays.


The court has asked the BMC to work out a plan for dog homes. However, it is yet to approve of the BMC proposal.

Animal rights activists, however, are calling the idea unfeasible.

Anuradha Sawhney, chief functionary of PETA said: "Instead of working on an idea that is not workable, the BMC should focus on ensuring that sterilisation is done properly and effectively. Strays should be kept only
in the city."


Mumbai has an estimated five lakh strays. The BMC stopped killing them in 1994 after NGOs and animal welfare organisations moved high court. The court suggested that BMC should sterilise dogs to control, and finally reduce, the number of dogs in the city.

However, the sterilisation programme, which has been slow, has failed to curb the dog population. The number of dogs has actually increased, and so have the number of dog bites. In 2006, 45,000 dog-bites cases were registered and of the victims, 21 died.

At present, sterilisation is done by NGOs at 'dog ponds' in Malad and Ghatkopar, land for which was given by the BMC.

However, Thakur said sterilisation had not been effective because of apathy of the civic administration and NGOs.


After the Bombay High Court gave permission to the BMC in April to put sick dogs to sleep, the civic body, as per the court's directions, recently asked all ward officers to conduct a survey of rabid, ill and violent dogs in the city and also count those that were normal. This census will be put before the civic body's euthanasia committee formed to decide whether dogs suffering from diseases should be treated or put to sleep.

Deputy mayor Vidya Thakur (left) has asked the CM for 50 acres to set up dog homes.

Publication:Mumbai Mirror ; Date:May 28, 2007; Section:Front Page; Page Number:1


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