Sachin Unhalekar, Mumbai
In an effort to curb the population of stray dogs and control the increasing cases of dog bite in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to conduct a surreal, colourful census of the furry animals.
This census ( or as BMC calls it, the estimate) will involve tagging the dogs with a splash of colour from a pichkari- like instrument.
Civic contractors on motorcycles will give chase to man’s best friends, and it should be quite a game of tag. On the day following the colouring, the animals will be counted. The colourtagging method should enable accurate counting, a civic official said.
The colour guns will see action next month. ” The colour will stain the dog for five days,” said Dr. Arun Bamne, Executive Health Officer, BMC. ” It will help ensure that no dog is left uncounted.” Funnily enough, the BMC does not know what colour will be used. For the first time, BMC has
outsourced the census to an American firm which has conducted similar censuses in Dhaka ( Bangladesh) and Ahmedabad.
The cost of the census, too, is unconfirmed. The BMC’s Standing Committee will soon allocate funds for the census.
BMC’s in- house census dating back to 2007 revealed that there were 74,926 strays in the city.
” Many dogs look like each other, are of the same height and hue,” said a civic official.
To make matters more difficult, stray dogs are highly mobile, although territorial.
The 2007 census was essentially inaccurate.
The 2012 census comes at a time when the occurrences of dog bite in the city nearly doubled from 2006 ( 45,983 cases) to 2011 ( 80,889).
o Civic contractors on motorcycles will give chase to man’s best friend armed with a pichkari- like instrument.
o The contractors will then tag the dogs with colour which civic officials say will stain a dog for five days.
o On the day following the colouring, the animals will be counted.
o The BMC has outsourced the census to an American firm which has conducted similar censuses in Dhaka ( Bangladesh) and Ahmedabad.