Stating that the CCP Mayor and Commissioner are unnecessarily targeting dog care services of Panjim Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) by taking away vehicles and trained staff provided to it, Angela Qazi of PAWS alleged that CCP is causing more harm than good to the animals.
The corporation had provided 12 workers including six permanent and equal number of daily wage workers and four vehicles to facilitate the day-to-day activities at the animal shelter at St Inez.
“This is very first time in the organisation that CCP Commissioner and CCP Mayor have not only changed the access to the animal shelter but have also forced us to stop providing animal rescue and vaccination services. In the tenure of earlier CCP Commissioner, there were no such complaints or incidents. I don’t know whether it is out of ego or enmity,” she said while terming their nature as ego-centric.
Don’t be surprised to see the packs of stray that roam in the city get multiplied, as the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme and anti-rabies vaccination have come to a halt, after the CCP has taken away the vehicles and dog catchers from PAWS, following the delay in attending to the injured dog near Mayor’s residence.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday Qazi said that “I received a call from the Mayor on Friday. It was around 7.45 am but our staff reached there only at 9 am as we don’t follow the pattern of 24- hour working as there is no additional staff. We work from 9 am to 6 pm, and during Sunday we work in shifts in a batch of five. If the Mayor wants us to work for 24 hours then he should provide us additional staff.”
“We are on a specialised job,” she said adding the Mayor should lay more emphasis on garbage disposal and improving the roads rather than targeting our dedicated services.
Speaking further, she said that today she received a call from Raj Bhavan to rescue an injured dog but no service could be provided as there is no driver. “There is no food to feed the dogs. Moreover, we were supposed to catch thirteen dogs from the city on Saturday but faced a great difficulty in the absence of driver cum dog catcher. We are now left with only four workers out of eleven. There is no staff to work on Sunday and during Eid holiday,” she said
She appealed to the Mayor to immediately revert back the six staff and vehicles, if not, the CCP will have to take the blame in case of any untoward incident due to dog bites.
Refuting the claims of CCP funding the animal shelter, Qazi said that “the CCP Mayor is lying as not a single penny has been received. Let the Mayor prove that he funds the animal shelter. The corporation has provided us with the place and bears cost towards telephone bill and staff salary but maintenance cost of the vehicles and other day-to-day administrative and related expenditure we have to manage by ourselves and that mainly comes by way of donations.”
When contacted, CCP Commissioner Dipak Desai said that there is no agreement or MoU signed with Angela Qazi, and she is unlawfully occupying the place and misusing the resources, of which cost is borne by the corporation.
She works independently according to her whims and fancies and neither she cooperates with us nor allows the staff to attend our phone calls, Desai said.
“Two notices have been sent asking her to prove her lawful occupancy of the place but she never replied,” he added.