Updated: Mar 4
20 Jan 2022
Dr Trilok Chandra
Special Commissioner - BBMP Animal Health
Dear Dr Chandra:
Sub: Adequate provision and planning for Animal Welfare in upcoming BBMP Budget 2022
Best wishes for health and happiness in 2022.
In the light of the upcoming BBMP budget and the work and preparations required, we as citizens would request that inputs be taken from all concerned to have a strong representation of animal lover voices and requirements for the protection of community animals. Transparency on metrics achieved ie ARV and ABC per month per zone is not shared In the last few years we have not planned sufficiently in advance resulting in a bit of reactive response when planning for serious intervention or addition is needed. Else, when there is an issue, the response is there is no budget.
For the last few years we have requested that BBMP not only be an efficient civic mechanism in animal welfare for the city, but go beyond its excellent focus on ABC and ARV to be a MODEL CITY - the most compassionate city in the country. Towards that, under Mr D Randeep’s administration a lot of effort has been put in to create a broad foundation to ensure that community animals, their safety and care as well as protection of the human community is prioritised. I attach here with the Citizen appraisal we had made for BBMP on 1st January of 2021, the first of its kind Citizen Feedback done in the country. While we are fully with you in terms of supporting all the good initiatives you have led so far there is definitely room for a lot more to be done & done quickly - but only if we think through and it is provisioned in the budget. It is very rare that citizens are asked or invited to pitch it on this budgeting exercise and it is critical that we should do so. After all, we know what can go wrong when such a critical subject so close to the health and safety of Bangalore’s human and canine population is not prioritised.
We request the following :
1. Share existing plans and budget for the last few years so we could have a productive data based discussion.
2. A open budget discussion on this issue, welcoming suggestions and public inputs. Link to One Health.
3. Universal ABC/ARV in a timebound, optimised manner. Critical need for developing and promoting better ABC centres with complete facilities. Only one centre (Yelahanka) has the facilities closest to the ABC SOP’s standard. ABC SOPs are very clear yet most of our centers in the global IT capital do not have the standards needed.
4. Bring back focus on Indie Adoptions via the approval already given for the #IndieProud Campaign by Chief Commissioner in July 2021. BBMP needs more Indies and street dogs adopted and off the streets. Funds need to be allotted.
5. A clear focus on additional facilities for the animals like equipment and ambulance As of now there is still a lot of confusion about which ambulances are for which place and which ones are for rescue. This MUST be in the open domain, and transparency on usage and availability be highlighted
6. There is no clear provision for managing stray cattle & pigs as well as for ensuring owners take more responsibility. There will have to be a budget to ensure that this is done and owners penalised.
7. We need to have as many zonal holding facilities as possible to ensure that the dogs that are lost, unwell, abused are at least safely kept before being properly identified.
8. Pending CD and rabies isolation centers - these have been pending for a long time and need to be quickly started . We find it sad that anything to do with animals can be on the file for months before it gets action. CD isolation centre has been agreed and signed off in July 2021 and yet is not open. The Special Commissioner needs to drive this and his team to get it done, or the animals suffer.
9. The need to have more crematoria and ensure they are 24/7 round the clock is critical for the physical health of human beings and to follow the laws of the land which do not allow for ad hoc burial. This has been hanging fire for a long time saying it comes under BBMP Engineering. Please note that while it might be the case but the request has to come from you this has impact on human and animal health. Please read my online petition www.bit.ly/petcremate on this subject
10. We have to have adequate budgets for training and awareness. BBMP is supposed to undertake public service announcements but this has been on hold for too long.
11. Large public areas such as Bannerghata Park/Lalbagh etc must have some feeding funding provision in addition to ABC/ARV as the large open area makes it difficult to catch.
12. We need a separate stream for the BBMP compensation provision of bites as per 2015 notification as well as expensive immunoglobin apart from the anti-rabies injections stocks at hospitals. This is a significant amount.
13. We do need to make a provision for 9 in 1 vaccinations which has derailed the ABC programs so much thanks to many dogs dying after contracting CD while being neutered. This may cost money but must be done as a pilot PPP project with public assistance and organisations like Lions or Rotary.
14. Coordination and collaboration with departments like RDPR, AHVS/KAWB/Bangalore SPCA etc is key to ensure the work done is optimised and animals and humans maximally served.
15. ABC in buffer zones to ensure that unneutered and unvaccinated dogs do not enter the zone of Bangalore should be immediately considered an action
16. With BBMP Delimitation we need more zones as well as more Centres per zone. High quality ABC camps for tough infested areas must be planned in order to be effective
17. Having additional staff to help on stray dog management cruelty as well as is needed at this point. Right now the allotment on slaughter and illegal transportation seems a bit ad hoc, and the facilities have to be according to environmental guidelines.
While we do understand that this is a large list, you must also appreciate that unless we put it down now and make some provisions, Bangalore and BBMP will continue to be much lower on the civic ratings and smart cities ranking of India which it does not deserve. A greater stretch and a better provision a better budgetary planning will make sure that this space is properly handled and people and dogs are able to coexist peacefully and safely in Bangalore.
We look forward to your thoughts on this note and a future meeting and to your prompt action before the next budget. We would like very categorically to ensure that the animals of Bangalore have very strong representation in BBMP budget both from the point of view of health and safety of people as well as to prevent cruelty and promote Bangalore as a compassionate safe city with pragmatic coexistence in the One Health model.
CJ Memorial Trust & Citizens for Animal Birth Control