In a bid to monitor the growing population of stray dogs on the streets of Hyderabad, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has spent Rs 25 crore on vaccines for more than 40,000 strays since 2009, an RTI revealed.
However, there is a catch. The RTI filed by Lok Satta Party member B Sambi Reddy, also showed that the sterilisation and anti-rabies vaccination drive cost Rs 5,000 per dog while the vaccination costs Rs 40.
"When the market rate of the vaccine is around Rs 40, why has the civic body spent Rs 5,000 to sterilise one dog. The people of the city are at a loss to understand the expenditure patterns. Even if they incur expenditure as high as Rs 5,000, the population of dogs continues to be at an all-time high," Sambi Reddy told the Times of India.
â€œWhen the Animal Birth Control programme is being done on a daily basis, why is that we find an increasing number of stray puppies on the roads? Why are the veterinary officials put on other duties like elections when more dog bite cases are being registered regularly? At night, because of the increasing dog menace, people are scared to walk even 200 metres, from the bus stop to their home. How is it that in spite of the high spending the population of dogs in the city is increasing," Deccan Chronicle quotes Reddy as saying.
However GHMC officials have defended their expenditure and claimed that the cost included doctor's fee, catcher's fee and other labour charges.
â€œThe expenditure that we have shown comprises purchase of vaccines, labour, vehicle and other charges. That is why the expenditure seems to be bloated," P Venkateshwara Reddy, chief veterinary officer, veterinary wing, GHMC told TOI.