In a bizarre act of intervention, the Greater Noida Authority has issued a notice to the apartment owners’ body of ATS Paradiso for allegedly harassing dog owners and 'illegal' fines while some media houses that had reported the so-called harassment are now proudly posting triumphant stories of their "impact".
Following several incidences of dog bites, many apartment owners' associations and residents' welfare associations across the national capital region had begun imposing rules and fines on dog owners. A rule prohibited dog owners from entering elevators with their pets, reflecting a legitimate concern of people who are scared of even innocuous dogs. The ATS Paradiso AoA, for example, had slapped fines on two dog owners, one for letting a dog pee in the housing complex, and another for taking their dog in the elevator. Under the pressure of some activist-journalists, the civic authority has issued a notice to the AoA.
"The authorities, municipality, police, and administration must come forward during such incidents of harassment of dog owners, else the state of chaos will continue. I am glad that the Greater Noida Authority is one of the authorities which speak for everyone, not only one set of people. The balance should be maintained and no AoA will be allowed to make their own laws," said Kaveri Rana Bhardwaj, an animal rights activist and rescuer, who accompanied the dog owners to register their complaint.
The civic authority notice categorically warned the AoA not to harass dog owners and call the animal care centres, numbers of which have been mentioned in the notice, in any case. "This is to inform you that we have received a complaint of your AoA imposing illegal fines and arbitrary notices to pet parents. Through this notice we want you to ensure that all rules of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) shall be followed…," the notice sent by Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority health officer Dr Prem Chandra read.
The body said that only the Greater Noida Authority could make pet rules and it was working on introducing a new set of rules.
What the civic authority apparently missed
A dog owner in Uttar Pradesh was detained for questioning today after his pet bit the private parts of his neighbour on September 3. Police said a case has been registered against the dog owner, Shankar Pandey.
In another such incident, a Zomato delivery guy was attacked and bitten by a pet dog in Mumbai on 10 September. The video of the incident showing the dog apparently bite the delivery boy's pelvic area and the victim's pants soaked in blood from his private parts went gone viral on the internet.
Last week, the owner of a labrador was arrested by Noida police after the animal allegedly bit a 10-year-old boy in a residential complex in Sector 56.
Last Tuesday, police in Ghaziabad booked the owner of a Beagle after a nine-year-old boy was bitten inside a lift.
According to Anand Upadhyay, president of the apartment owners’ association at JM Orchid society in Sector 76, while associations can issue guidelines pertaining to pets, these are not legally enforceable. "There are guidelines in our society and most of the residents follow them. At the same time, we cannot force anyone," Upadhyay said.