The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is all set to include sterilisation and vaccination of stray cats from this year onwards. The veterinary department of NMMC, in a first-of-its-kind attempt, has called for bidders experienced in sterilising stray cats and dogs and providing vaccinations.
The tendering process for the activity is estimated to cost ₹2.83Cr.
“This is the first time that NMMC is even including cat sterilisation into the process. This inclusion is as per the norms stated by the Animal Welfare Board. There are a lot of stray cats in the city and getting them sterilised is becoming necessary. Therefore, we have plans to include this activity with the regular sterilisation programme of stray dogs,” said the deputy municipal commissioner (veterinary in-charge), Shriram Pawar.
The administration is in the process of working out the standard operating procedure while dealing with cats. Preliminary plans are similar to the system followed in case of getting stray dogs sterilised and vaccinated. Officials informed of setting up a cat cell to record inquiries and actions taken. A time limit is also to be set to attend to calls pertaining to cats.
“There are a lot of factors still to be worked out. At the outset, the idea is to attend to calls for stray cats as early as possible. There will be a system to be followed by the organisations to be awarded with the contract that will include the time to be taken, the mannerism of treatment to be provided, etc.,” said Pawar.
The infrastructure required for undertaking cat sterilisation and vaccination is to be set up by the department. Small-sized kennels, operation theatre, etc. are being planned. “Since it won’t be possible to go about catching stray cats, we will be working out a system wherein animal lovers can get the stray cats and get them sterilised,” said the official.
The development has, however, raised some questions among animal activists. “Why are they calling for a new contract when there is already an NGO that is stated to be doing a sterilisation programme for NMMC. Just a few months back, it was informed by NMMC that they were setting up a veterinary hospital. What purpose will it serve?” questioned Rohit Malhotra, a Vashi resident and animal activist.