KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the local government secretary to immediately evolve a mechanism to get weekly update from all the district municipal corporations (DMCs) about their tasks to control and avoid dog-bite incidents within their respective areas.

Expressing its concerns over the rapidly increasing incidents across the province, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar further asked the secretary to also call reports every week from talukamunicipal officers and personally monitor the task for overseeing the performance of DMCs and municipal officers and file a report on the next hearing.

The bench also took exception to the absence of the Karachi administrator despite being put on notice and directed him to appear in person on June 2 and explain his failure to comply with the court order.

When a petition about increase in dog-bite incidents in the province and shortage of anti-rabies vaccines at government-run hospitals came up for hearing on Thursday, local government secretary Najam Shah informed the bench about compliance made in the light of the court’s previous order.

He stated that the draft of bye-laws for the Sindh Council of Dogs Population Control & Mass Vaccination-2021 had been approved by a committee constituted under the chairmanship of the Karachi administrator and that the Sindh chief minister had also approved the same. Now the draft rules would be placed before the next cabinet meeting for final approval, he added.

Sindh rabies control programme project director Najeeb Ahmed stated that a tender had been published for procurement of vaccination and they had already conducted the exercise of evaluation of technical bids. Within two days, the financial bid would be opened and the entire process would be completed within 10 days, he added.

He also maintained that in order to maintain the smooth transportation of stray dogs to the vaccination centre and release them, they had already got the permission to purchase 60 vehicles. The cabinet had approved it and he would submit a progress report on the next hearing, he said.

The LG secretary submitted that they were regularly convening meetings with the municipal commissioners of different DMCs.

The bench also directed the lawyers for the cantonment boards to submit progress reports at the next hearing and also issued directives for the executive officers of all cantonment boards to ensure that in their areas proper task force must be deputed to strictly control dog-bite incidents within their respective territories.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2021

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