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PAW PATROL Kandivali society levies fine of Rs 2,500 per day for feeding stray dogs

April 14, 2019 06:46 AM


Kandivali society levies fine of Rs 2,500 per day for feeding stray dogs
Two members of Nisarg Heaven CHS rack up bills of over Rs 3.5 lakh; society says the dogs create a nuisance, soil compound premises
TWEETS @MumbaiMirror

Two members of a housing society in Kandivali have reportedly racked up bills of over Rs 3.5 lakh in pending dues after a penalty of Rs 2,500 per day was levied on them for feeding stray dogs inside the compound.

During an annual general body meeting held in May last year, members of the Nisarg Heaven Co-Operative Housing Society Limited in Mahavir Nagar, Kandivali West unanimously decided to levy the fine to curb the menace of stray dogs inside society premises.

Neha Datwani, an advertising executive and animal lover, told Mirror, “As of today, I owe the society Rs 3,60,000 in arrears for feeding dogs. My maintenance bill for the month of February states that my total pending dues amount to Rs 3,26,818. Additionally, I am being charged a 21 per cent interest per month. I have been paying my maintenance regularly but refuse to pay these charges.”

The society reportedly began adding the Rs 2,500 fee in the maintenance bill in July last year. For July, Datwani and another member Ketan Shah were charged Rs 7,500. But in the next four months, they were charged Rs 75,000 each. Although it stopped the fee after Datwani put her foot down and approached animal rights activists against the arbitrary rule, the society has been charging them both the interest every month since.

Shah, who operates a camera store in Fort, said, “I have been a resident of the society for eighteen years and have always fed the dogs. They are not strays. They were born in the society premises and have been staying here since then. I have taken care of them since they were puppies. Nobody had problems then. It all began only after the new committee was formed.”

‘Strays are a menace’

When contacted, the society’s chairman Mitesh Vora told Mirror, “There are 228 units in the society including 194 flats. We have received several complaints from members. The house-keeping staff refuse to clean after them. There have been several instances when some of the dogs have pounced on members especially after a female dog gave birth. So, keeping these problems in mind, it was decided that those members who want to feed the dogs must do so outside the society premises or pay Rs 2,500 per feed.”

Datwani, who stays with her mother and two siblings, has engaged Pari Mehta, a rights activist, to intervene in the matter.

“Dogs can’t be relocated from their original places. Even if they leave the area, they prefer to die hungry as they have territories. You can’t take a dog outside to feed it. They will return as it is their birthplace. Outside, they might get killed by other dogs and the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 clearly states that causing them any pain and trauma is an offence,” said Mehta.

“We will consult our lawyers, but the society committee can be booked as by preventing members from giving them food, they are essentially killing them. We will also consult our human rights lawyer as Datwani has faced harassment at the hands of society members who have, at times, even cornered her while she was feeding the dogs,” said Mehta.

Datwani, who is slated to move out of the city soon, wants to settle the issue before she leaves. “I am tired. I just want everything sorted and cleared as my sister and mother will continue living here. But we won’t pay the fine as it is illegal

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