Growing stray dog population takes toll on Srinagarites

SMC SITS ON MUCH-HYPED STERILISATION PROJECT
A woman walks amid being surrounded by stray dogs in city centre's Mandir Bagh area.  [Representational Image]
A woman walks amid being surrounded by stray dogs in city centre's Mandir Bagh area. [Representational Image] File/ GK

Srinagar: With Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) failing to take measures to check stray dogs menace in the summer capital, increasing population of canines is taking toll on people.

Residents of various areas have taken to social media to highlight the stray dog menace and failure of SMC to tackle the issue.

Social media is full of videos where people are highlighting presence of overwhelming dog population in their respective localities. Netizens are urging authorities to address the issue as they are unable to venture out amid fear of dog attacks.

In a recent video uploaded by a user from Srinagar, around two dozen dogs can be seen roaming on the streets of Jawahar Nagar area here.

“The people residing at Jawahar Nagar are living in fear of stray dogs. Elderly people and children are unable to venture out due to presence of dogs. Recently a student was attacked by a pack of dogs. The authorities are requested to look into the issue,” tweeted Farhat Naik, attaching a video of dogs roaming in the locality.

The stray dog population in Srinagar has increased at important public places. In another Facebook video from a Srinagar hospital, over 30 dogs can be seen roaming in its premises. The social media users said that “as the government is claiming to turn Srinagar into a smart city, the basic issues are yet to be resolved.”

“This is the situation around the important health facilities in Srinagar. The population of dogs in hospital premises is more than that of the population of patients and attendants put together,” wrote a Facebook user.

Greater Kashmir did a series of stories on the failure of authorities to tackle the stray dog issue. Officials over the past few months have been saying that Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is going to set up new dog sterilisation centers for the canine population. They said that currently, the infrastructure that is available for sterilisation is at minimum capacity.

“The SMC’s lone dog sterilization center at Shuhama is able to carry out sterilization of around 15 dogs per day which is negligible as compared to the population of dogs in Srinagar. We are going to increase dog sterilisation capacity by setting up new dog sterilization centers at Shuhama and Tengpora,” said the official.

The officials at SMC said that after the completion of the new project, the civic body will have three more dog sterilisation facilities for Srinagar and the department will be able to carry out around 240 sterilisation surgeries per day.

A source from SMC said that the previous outsourcing process for dog sterilisation, wherein stakeholders from outside the UT were also roped-in, did not materialize.

“The SMC then decided to outsource the process with some relaxation so that agencies will carry out the process without delay. We have also identified the land in Srinagar to create one more dog sterilization center in Srinagar city. It is in addition to the Tengpora and Shuham facilities,” he said.

SMC Commissioner, Athar Aamir Khan said that Srinagar will get more dog sterilisation facilities within the next two to three months.

“The Shuhama dog sterilisation facility is operational currently. The work to complete two more dog sterilization facilities at Chatraham Srinagar and Tengpora is in progress. These facilities will be operational in the next two to three months,” Khan said.

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