The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporations’ (AMCs’) first general board meeting of the year, held virtually on Monday, was dominated by animals ranging from dogs, cattle, pigs, and even rats.
Shehzad Khan Pathan, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) at AMC, quoted saying that if the Chief Justice is not safe on city streets, how can a common man be?
“Every year thousands of residents become victims to stray dog bites and accidents caused by stray cattle on the roads. When the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court does not feel safe on city roads and is scared that some stray dog might bite him, just imagine the plight of common citizens,” Pathan stated during his address at the AMC general board meeting.
CJ Kumar remarked during a hearing that he was advised “by many” that he “should not go for a walk on roads”, adding that while he has dogs and loves dogs, “our enjoyment should not become a nuisance to others, should not be harmful to anybody”.
“Why can’t the AMC create an animal hostel where all these stray animals can be shifted. There is no provision of such a facility in the city,” Pathan, who is Congress councillor from Danilimda said.
Another councillor of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) from Jamalpur ward Mushtaq Khadiwala raised the issue of rats damaging streets and blocking drainage pipelines.
“Instead of using sand and rocks for streets inside the walled city areas, the AMC should go for concrete RCC ones with metals which will also save costs of the AMC. The walled city areas of Jamalpur has a huge menace of rats that pull out all the sand and mud from the streets and create huge gaps as they ingress. When a vehicle moves on these gaps the streets caves in leading to accidents,” Mushtaq Khadiwala said during the meeting.
“Also, with all the mud they block the drainage pipes leading to choking on the streets and inside houses. The rat menace persists for years now but there is no roadmap by AMC,” Khadiwala said.
Another first time councillor of the same party, Afsanabanu Chisty, also from Jamalpur ward raised the issue of pigs that even bite children.
“Due to the fear of pigs, children are scared to step outside their houses. They even bite them,” she said at the meeting.
The issue is in the Raikhad area, where the old Prakash cloth mill premises, which has been closed for decades, has deteriorated, with the compound wall giving way in places. According to the residents, this attracts pigs, which roam and even enter houses, biting children.
In response, Mayor Kirit Parmar stated that councillors are only discussing animals, with some mentioning dogs and others mentioning cattle and pigs.
The LoP Shehzad Khan Pathan also raised the issue of the city’s lack of cleanliness, pointing out that other cities in other states, such as Rajkot, Surat, and Indore, are cleaner than Ahmedabad.