Rs 10,000 registration fee for pet parents in Bengaluru apartment complex

This news sparked outrage from both residents and animal rights activists alike, decrying the measure as both "illegal" and "unlawful".

If you’re a pet owner in the Bengaluru Electronic City apartment complex, hold on to your wallet. The Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of Ittina Mahavir, known for its high pet fees, has implemented a shocking new rule that has pet owners in disbelief.

This regulation mandates that every proud pet parent must pay a hefty Rs 10,000 for a refundable registration fee or face fines of Rs 100 per day beginning November 16. This news sparked outrage from both residents and animal rights activists alike, decrying the measure as both “illegal” and “unlawful”. 

Pet Owners and Rules 

Considering Ittina Mahavir houses roughly a thousand flats, of which a hundred house pets, this is a significant section of the resident population. Understandably, these residents are miffed, and they’re not alone. The burden of this pet deposit is intended to cover expenses of incidents such as dog bites or if the pet owner fails to keep their premises clean. This added financial obligation has pet owners asking: at what cost? 

Setting the Record Straight 

Abhishek Agarwal, an IMRAOA official, maintained that these rules have been a long time coming. Having been formulated in consultation with legal consultants back in 2016, Mr. Agarwal argues that the rules are “resident friendly”. It’s true, pet owners do get the registration fee back when they leave or if they no longer own a pet. Yet, the idea of a day-to-day fine is still being discussed, with the next RWA meeting expected to clear the air. 

However, critics argue that such rapid collection of fees from pet owners, even in a private apartment complex, is not constitutional. BBMP-affiliated health facilities do offer complimentary treatment for dog bites and Rs 2,000 compensation to victims of stray dog attacks, which raises an obvious question: Is it justifiable for an RWA to collect such a hefty fee and impose additional penalties for owning and maintaining a pet? Animal rights activists assert that only the Karnataka Animal Welfare Board or BBMP has the legal jurisdiction to impose rules regarding pets in public places and residential areas. 

“Owning and housing a pet is a basic right of any resident. Restricting it by imposing a fee — let alone a steep one — is unlawful,” asserts Manjari Chaitanya Colaco, a known pet activist from the NGO South Bengaluru Cares.

Social Media Reaction

Social media opinions have varied wildly on this issue. “The world is made of protons, electrons, neutrons, and morons,” wrote one user. Another noted that “Rs 10,000 is more than enough for a dog bite case. And if that gets exhausted, simply collect another Rs 10,000 from all dog owners… After a dog bite, if a person gets rabies, that’s another scenario.” 

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