Corporators oppose night shelters for beggars, but push for dog pounds

Elected representatives in the Pune Municipal Corporation on Wednesday opposed civic administration's plan to set up night shelters for beggars in their respective areas. At the same time, the corporators had no qualms in pushing for dog pounds to tackle stray dog menace in their areas despite the administration opposing such a move.

"The proposal of Congress corporator Lata Rajguru to disallow night shelter at a community hall at civic-run Naidu Hospital campus was approved by the standing committee. A similar demand by MNS corporator Rajendra Wagaskar of not allowing night shelter at another structure in Koregaon Park was also accepted," said Baburao Chandere, chairperson of standing committee.

Chandere said corporators opposed use of community hall for night shelter, saying it was developed for local residents of the area. When asked where the PMC will set up night shelters if opposed by corporators, Chandere said it was up to the civic administration to find such locations for which everyone can agree.

Chandere said the PMC was also planning to allow only men at the night shelter being developed near Pune railway station as there were concerns over security of women in case they were allowed to use the facility.

In another proposal, corporators had demanded dog pounds for stray dogs but the administration had negated the move. "The committee unanimously decided not to accept the civic administration's opinion and push for dog pounds as everyone was fed up of dogs in their respective areas. This is the only way to get rid of the problem," said Chandere.

He said the civic administration should look for appropriate place for dog pound and the corporators are ready to allot necessary funds for the purpose.

The civic administration had said there were at least 40,000 stray dogs in the city and it was not possible to keep them together. Dogs of various breeds cannot stay together and it would be difficult to provide food and health facilities for the animals. The PMC will also have to appoint a 24-hour staff for the dog pound.

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