States must tell civic bodies to follow rules

Having failed to control human population, we are now trying to control animal population. The results are equally disappointing. Thanks mainly to Maneka Gandhi’s efforts during her stint as a Union Minister of State, the Centre has formulated rules on the subject. Consequently, the job of planning and executing birth control among dogs has been assigned to the municipal committees and corporations.

Even the amount to be paid to the municipalities for each sterilisation (including post-operative care) has been specified. However, most municipalities are yet to constitute the sub-committees.

The cost of the operations is also not disbursed even after protracted correspondence between the Centre and the Animal Welfare Board. The states, of course, have no funds and can only raise slogans against dogs and monkeys.

Most legislators and bureaucrats are not aware of the laws on the subject. As a result, the work pertaining to stray animals is marked at random to the Departments of Animal Husbandry or Forest.

If by any chance the word ‘rabies’ appears in any communication, off it goes to the Medical Department! The states need to enforce the procedure defined by legislation and guide the municipal corporations on the subject. We may yet succeed.

Dr L.R. SHARMA, Solan



The stray dog menace cannot be solved by a few NGOs. Their concentration is best known to the residents who should cooperate with NGOs and arrange immunisation camps there.

Dogs can’t be killed under the law. The biological multiplication has to go on like human population, despite the ABC programme. The only aim is to reduce the danger of dog bites by immunising them.

The ABC progamme of dogs requires lot of space and manpower in the hospitals to look after them after sterilisation operations, which is lacking now. The administration, government and private veterinary hospitals, NGOs and the public should jointly help combat the problem. The programme should also be target-oriented.

Dr K. VASDEVA, Panchkula

An eye-opener

Justice Rajinder Sachar’s article, “Asian Games vs the poor: Enough of wasteful expenditure” (May 1) should work as an eye-opener to politicians, bureaucrats and other policymakers to see what is best for our poor masses reeling under poverty.

The Centre and the states are wasting the taxpayers’ money on unnecessary things and show business. Recently, the Delhi government doled out huge funds to actors such as Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherji, Saif Ali Khan and Priyanka Chopra towards their entertainment programme during the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The Delhi Chief Minister does not think of creating facilities for the poor residing in slum areas.

SANTOSH KUMARI, Anji Nasal (Barog)

Resettlement problem

During a seminar, organised jointly by the Directorate, Resettlement and IITFT Chandigarh, guests including the DG Resettlement exhorted us, former defence officers, to start a venture without understanding that most of us are not looking for a business at this stage.

What we are looking for is a reasonably good job that compensates the deficit between the pay last drawn and the pension one receives. However, none whatsoever was willing to speak about it and some who do offer a job give such low salaries as to embarrass an IT company messenger.

Col. MAHESH CHADHA (retd), Panchkula


Know your onions

Bhagwan Singh’s letter, “Onion’s tale” (April 26) was interesting. It is not only in Persian and Urdu poetry that the words piyaaz (onion) and piyaazi have been used. It also finds mention in Sydney Smith (1771-1845), clergyman, essayist and writer of wit. Here is an instance of his wit: “How can a bishop marry? How can he flirt? The most he can say is I will see you in the vestry after service?” (Lady Holland, Memoir, Vol. I, Ch. 2). In his Recipe for Salad, Smith writes: “Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl/ And, scarce-suspected, animate the whole”.

Similarly, Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), whose fame rests on his social plays, notably on A Doll’s House (1879), in his lyrical play, Peer Gynt (1867), created a dreamer, indolent and braggart peasant, who poses as a prophet. However, unveiling layer upon layers of this peasant, he writes: “You’re not an emperor, you’re an onion! Now my dear Peer, I’m going to peel you, However little you may enjoy it”.

The word onion is also used idiomatically. For example, when we say he knows his onions, it means that he is shrewd in affairs, wise in the ways of the world. It also means that he is good at his job. Secondly, if we say he is off his onion, it means that he is off his head.



Cattle menace

The Haryana government has done a laudable job by notifying The Municipal (Registration and Proper of Stray Animals Act (May 9). Under this Act, the presence of stray cattle on the road will invoke a heavy fine and penalty for the owner.

In Punjab’s cities and towns, the nuisance of stray cattle has reached intolerable limits. Everyday fatal accidents are taking place. Cows, bulls, donkeys and dogs are freely roaming on the roads. Will the Punjab government tackle this menace?

Lt-Col GURDEV SINGH (retd), Bathinda



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