In an initiative to nab defaulting pet owners, the Chennai Corporation will soon fine pet owners with Rs 100 every time they fail to pick up their dog's poo while walking them. This is as per the Corporation’s draft solid waste management bye-laws 2016.
Several complaints from morning walkers have lead to notices being sent to owners in the posh locality of Kalakshetra Colony in Besant Nagar. However, nothing came of it.
“There are several pet owners here, but barely a few clean their dog's poop. The other's don't mind if their pet is littering another person's driveway,” Sai Ramakrishnan, a resident of Kalakshetra Colony told DTnext.
"Dog owners should be held responsible for their dog's litter. It is not rocket science to clean their poop. Most dogs are being fed dry food these days so their waste is not particularly hard to clean. Besides, there is the public health hazard of leaving their poop to rot on the streets and it is also a massive inconvenience to those who use the streets. We talk about Swachh Bharat and it is such a big scheme in the country. So why can't we do this simple thing to keep our streets clean," Antony Rubin, a Chennai based animal rights activist told TNM.
Fines for littering dog owners have already been implemented in big cities such as Mumbai where pet parents are asked to pay Rs 500 for failing to clean up their pet’s waste from the roads.
Rubin says several residents have complained about the dog litter menace and the issue has been continuing for years without redressal. "I have a friend who stays in Kilpauk opposite to a veterinary clinic. So when the pet parents come with their pets to the vet in the mornings or evenings, the entire area is filled with their poop. This usually happens before and after office hours and is highly irritating to those who have to use the streets after," he adds.
The solid waste management bye-law will go for public hearing in 20 days and depending on this, the penalty for littering public places by pet owners will come into action. However, how this law will be implemented and monitored remains a big question, Rubin adds.
(The story has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute)