Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday started serving of food and water to stray animals roaming around hungry on streets due to the lockdown in Bhubaneswar.
Three vehicles have been used for distribution of food and water in three zones of the BMC.
Each vehicle, which started from the sub-divisional veterinary officer (SDVO), Shahid Nagar early in the morning around 8 am carried biryani/khichdi for the dogs and cattle feed for bulls and dogs along with two drums of water. The vehicles also got utensils to be used to serve the food for dogs and cattle.
Each vehicle was also staffed with four persons from BMC and Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department. The service will continue till the lockdown period is in force. On the first day BMC hopes to cover 1,000 stray cattles and 10,000 dogs.
At the SDVO office in Sahid Nagar today BMC deputy commissioner (animal welfare) Shyam Sundar Sethi, Dr Sashi Bhushan Swain, SDVO, Bhubaneswar, Dr. Soubhagya Pradhan, veterinary officer, BMC and Dr. Trilochan Sahu, Nodal officer, ABC Programme were present.
For this animal welfare programme BMC has formulated an SOP and will ensure preparation of food worth Rs 20,000 every day for dogs, bulls and cows. As the stray dogs and bulls/cows form the major chunk of the animal population Rs 12,000 and Rs 8,000 respectively will be spent for dogs and bulls/cows respectively.
For this noble gesture of the State Government the Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department has granted Rs 3.60 lakh for food only. Other expenses, if any, would be met by BMC.
However, any organisation desiring to take part in this work cannot distribute the food to stray animals directly. The SOP has asked to contact the deputy commissioner concerned to take part in the programme.
Frontline civil society organisation People for Animal Jagatsinghpur and Nayagarh branch are actively involved in this initiative of the urban body.
It can be mentioned here that the city currently has got more than 1,500 bulls and more than 40,000 stray dogs.