Noida: Acting on a direction from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), the Noida authority’s horticulture department has allowed entry of pets in city parks.
“We have started removing the line that says ‘pets are prohibited inside’ from the boards installed in city parks. Soon this line will be removed in all city parks, mostly in this month,” said Indu Prakash Singh, officer on special duty of the Noida authority heading horticulture department.
The warning boards have been revised in several parks in sectors 1 to 12, 14, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 34, 50, 51 and 53, and officials said changes will be made in the rest of the city “in another 20 days”. There are 726 parks under the authority across the city.
Early February, a group of dog lovers had moved the AWBI and submitted photographs of the boards prohibiting entry of pets that the authority had put up. The issue was resulting in regular confrontations in residential blocks across the city, they argued.
Acting on the petition, AWBI issued directions to the Noida authority in the last week of February to allow entry of pets in parks. Officials said the authority started removing the warning message from the parks from March 10.
“After the horticulture department started removing this (banning entry of pets) line in their zones in parks, some people wanted to know if the authority bans the entry of pets in parks and we informed them that we do not prohibit the entry,” said Ritu Maheshwari, chief executive officer of the Noida authority.
While pet lovers have welcomed the move, it has, however, not gone down well with a few.
Pet lover Sanjay Mahapatra, who runs a free animal clinic in sector 54 footpath, is among those who are overjoyed by the decision. “Stray animals, be it dogs, cats, birds and other animals, are part of our ecosystem and we, as human beings, need to take care of these animals. In cities, other than parks, there are no other open areas. We need to make feeding points for not only dogs but also for birds, who depend on us for food,” he said.
However, colonel (retd) MS Saxena, who is the former president of sector 30 residents’ welfare association, said, “The Noida authority should first make adequate arrangements where dogs can answer nature’s call. The dog owners do not clean up the excreta of their dogs, thus creating sanitation issues in local parks. The authority must impose some fine for such dog owners.”
Meanwhile, Noida officials clarified that pet owners will soon issue guidelines, which will include specific timings for pets in parks, for pet owners. Security guards will also be deputed at large parks to make sure only pets with leashes are allowed inside and that the owners are carrying scoops and poop bags.