Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Honorary Joint Secretary, Sanober Bharucha, said each item of expense incurred by CUPA on ABC was scrutinised by an internal auditor before it was audited again by a reputed firm of auditors, before being submitted to the BMP for scrutiny and evaluation. Only after it was passed, did the BMP release the next instalment.
"CUPA has not been paid by BMP for six months, for the period February to July 2002, and we are supporting the ABC programme on our own. This shows that CUPA is not merely a contractor but a committed and responsible NGO that has shown the programme as an alternative to institutionalised killing of innocent animals," Ms. Bharucha said.
CUPA had repaired nearly 100 kennels, which were 70 years old, at the municipal dog pound, and provided 65 new kennels, she said. It was also paying the electricity bills since 1991, which were yet to be reimbursed. CUPA had sunk a borewell to ensure regular water supply to the dog pound, which also provided water to residents of the adjacent Laxman Rau Nagar slum.
Unlike what certain corporators had alleged, the quarters in the pound were occupied by a BMP employee, and they were not under CUPA's control. CUPA had improved electrical lines, plumbing, drainage, and toilets at the pound at its own expense. "Every room and facility at the pound is used by us for the ABC programme," Ms. Bharucha said.
On the allegation that dog catching vans were not sent to areas from which residents complained, she said CUPA was allotted two vans to service 34 corporation wards under its charge, covering the North and East zones of the city. One old van was out of order, and the single functional van had to be used non-stop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This van was currently being used for arrangements connected with the Independence Day celebrations.
CUPA agreed with the decision to euthanise 25 per cent of the street dogs caught. It was found through experience that about one-fourth of the dogs caught from the streets were too old, terminally ill, or suspected to be rabid, and had to be killed.
"We are not against such dogs being killed, we only want other dogs given a chance to live out their normal life after being sterilised and vaccinated against rabies," CUPA activists clarified.
"We are not only concerned about street dogs, we are equally bothered about other animals. We are also campaigning against inhumane and unhygienic practices in slaughterhouses and butcher shops and will publicise them soon," they said.
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