SRINAGAR Notwithstanding tall claims of Srinagar Municipal Cooperation (SMC) that dog population in city has reduced, the stray dogs continue to pose a serious threat to the residents here.
The official statistics reveals that stray dog bite cases over the years have rapidly increased. Despite making tall claims, authorities have failed to put a check on the growing population of stray dogs which has made it difficult for people to venture out of their houses.
The packs of stray dogs are a common sight in places like Lal Chowk. Bemina, Qamarwari, Batmalloo, Rawalpora, Khaniyar, Razikadal, Jawaharnagar and Padshahibag. An official however pinned the blame on people saying heaps of garbage as well as food packets are thrown on the roads that attracts the canines.
Dogs are mostly seen at those places. It is an open invitation for dogs to gather there. Sometimes they attack the persons who pass through the area, he said.
People however blamed 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, are high in number with hundreds of dog bites reported in last few years.
According to official data, there are about 48,000 dogs in the city, but unofficial estimates put the number at over 1, 00,000. To control the canine population in the city, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has taken up 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.
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