A stray dog. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: AFP

Shimla: In a move to get rid of stray dogs in the area, the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Sunday passed a resolution to offer free parking and 100% discount on the garbage collection fee to households for adopting stray dogs.

Speaking to ANI, Pankaj Rai, Commissioner, SMC, said: "Initially, this scheme was not included in the proposal. Earlier, we offered 50% off the garbage bill, but after viewing the response of the people, we thought that more people should join the adoption scheme. So, we offered free parking and exempted people from the garbage bill for adopting stray dogs, along with free registration and vaccination charges."

He further stated that so far 33 stray dogs have been adopted under individual adoption, while the SMC is inviting different NGOs and RWAs for community adoption.

"An agreement will be signed before adopting the dogs. To avoid conflict between humans and dogs, people would also need to identify a specific place for the dog, where its food will be provided," he said.

Rai also announced the introduction of dog pounds on Shimla's Mall Road.

"It will be initiated on a trial basis. The dog pounds would be created to provide the dogs with a place to stay, while their food will be provided at a separate place," he said.

Geeta Sood, a resident of Shimla, said: "The local residents have appreciated the offer and are coming forward to provide the stray dogs with shelter. Not only will the dogs get a home, while the people will be safer on the streets."

Sood further said that she is yet to receive the free parking, but has been promised by the SMC that she will get it soon.

However, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of SMC, alleged that the SMC is trying to impose their responsibilities on the people.

"I do not think that this scheme will solve the problem of stray dogs and monkeys in the area. They should have taken the public opinion before moving on with this rushed step. For the scheme to be successful, it is mandatory for the domestic pets to be registered and a place for defecation is also required, which is not available in the area," he said.

He further stated that the SMC should come up with a big comprehensive plan to take care of the issue.

The SMC had passed a resolution to offer 50 per cent discounts in the garbage bills to households that adopt stray dogs.