Srinagar, July 10: Failure of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to take measures for controlling the menace of stray dogs is taking a heavy toll on people of the summer capital Srinagar.
People believe here that street dog numbers continue to affect people in the majority of the areas of Srinagar city and this will be the trend if the authorities continue to do nothing.
“The control methods used are inadequate, as trapping was rarely a method that was considered and was totally undervalued and underutilized,” said one of the local residents of Srinagar.
People blame the authorities for not taking appropriate steps to reduce the increasing dog population. The cases reported with Socio and Preventive Medicine Department at the SMHS Hospital, the only tertiary care hospital in the Valley, has registered hundreds of dog bits during the recent years.
In Srinagar alone, hundreds of people were bitten by canines. Though the official figures were not available,unofficial estimates say that there are about 1, 00,000 dogs in Srinagar city.
To control the canine population in the city, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has taken the process of sterilization, but people said that it was a long process and there should be some short-term plan by the SMC to stop the cases of dog bites.
“Sterilization is a long-time process. The government is not serious in solving this grave issue. Something needs to be done timely to check the menace,” said Habib-ullah, a resident of Srinagar.
Stray canines can be seen roaming on streets, chasing cars, pulling down bicycle riders and often attacking pedestrians and schoolchildren.
The situation is worse in the outskirts where the municipal corporation is not that active and is checking the menace.
According to the officials in the Srinagar Municipal corporation, the reason behind the ferocity of the dogs is the high-protein offal they are fed regularly because of the dietary habits of residents of Kashmir, where mutton and chicken are a staple diet.
The inhabitants of Bemina MIG colony area complained that even though hundreds of dogs’ prowl in the area, the authorities had failed to check the menace. “For the past four years the SMC admits that the stray dog population has reached alarming proportions still the corporation has failed to act,” Said senior citizen Ajaz Ahmad of the area.
“We fear that the dog population if kept unchecked could trigger fear psychosis among people. The dog issue needs to be dealt with seriously or else by four years dogs may outnumber Srinagarities and they will victimize every one of us,” he said.
It is to mention here that a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey had issued the direction after it was informed that there was only one centre at Shuhama, for controlling the birth of the stray dogs. “In order that SMC is able to achieve the objectives, they will need full financial assistance and logistic support from H&UDD. A request has already been made by the SMC on 29 March 2016 and 16 May 2016,” the court had said.
Despite repeated attempts the SMC commissioner couldn’t be contacted for his comments.
Dr Javaid Ahmad Rather, Municipal Veterinary Officer said that the sterilization process was presently suspended due to pandemic. “Due to the pandemic we could not continue the process of sterilization but yes we are hopeful that we will resume the process soon,” he told KINS.
He added that the SMC is lifting all garbage across the city and people should also cooperate to minimize the presence of garbage as proper sanitation would help to reduce the population of stray dogs. (KINS)