Aswin J Kumar, TNN Aug 9, 2012, 03.23AM IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Next time panic-stricken city-residents ring up the corporation dog squad for help, it is less likely that the call will be answered and the complaint redressed.
Upset by the delay in payment of their wages, the four dog-catchers of the city’s already under-staffed dog squad have informed the corporation that they are unwilling to continue their job.
Dog catcher N J Satheesh Kumar who was directly recruited by the corporation has also threatened to quit his job unless the corporation takes immediate measures to ensure prompt payment.
The dearth of dog catchers had forced Satheesh to recruit some assistants on his own. “I have been taking care of their expenses till now as I needed help. But now there is no way I can pay them. Even my salary is pending for the last few months. How can I survive with this money,” he said.
The members of the dog squad have long been demanding for a rise in their wages. At present the corporation pays Rs 75 per dog for a dog catcher. “It is evident how insufficient this sum is. Even then we decided to continue with the job simply because of the huge number of stray dogs in the city,” said a dog-catcher.
The decision of the dog catchers will be a huge blow to the corporation that is looking at curbing the stray dog menace, especially after the recent accident in which a youth died after being chased down by stray dogs. Following the incident, the corporation had announced a slew of measures to control the menace.
The dog catchers had then pointed out as to how the corporation has been neglecting the dog squad. The rusty vehicles of the squad have also been lying in the workshop for almost a month.
Meanwhile, corporation officials say that there has never been a delay in the payment of the wages. “Till last month the corporation has been paying them promptly. This month the payment has been delayed as the mayor is down with fever. Once she comes back to office, the papers will be cleared and they will be paid. The corporation will settle the matter with the members of dog squad,” a corporation health official clarified.