The BMC may need to re-invite interest in appointing an agency for cat sterilization after its plan last year failed due to the lockdown.
Although four agencies received work orders for this purpose last January, work could not start. Mumbai Veterinary College, In Defense of Animals in Parel, Universal Animal Welfare Society in Govandi and Animal and Bird Care and Advanced Research Center in Goregaon were shortlisted to perform sterilizations.
“Due to the pandemic, staff and funds from various BMC departments have been embezzled. The standing committee approved the proposal in January 2019 and four agencies were selected. However, the works could not start, ”said a civic official.
Earlier this month, the BMC called on city-based NGOs with expertise in animal sterilization to come forward. The selected NGO or agency would get municipal land and all bills will be paid by the civic body, he said.
The BMC has provided a crore of Rs 1 for the project and will spend Rs 600 per male cat and Rs 800 per female cat for sterilization. However, in case the NGO / agency uses its own facilities for sterilization, the civic body will pay Rs 800 per male and Rs 1,000 per female cat.
Noting the growing number of complaints from people about an increase in the stray cat population, in June 2018, BMC applied to the Animal Welfare Board of India for permission to include stray cats in its animal birth control program in which dogs are also sterilized.
There is no official data available on the number of stray cats in the city. Although BMC takes a dog census every five years, it still does a feline census.