SMC fails to prevent movement of stray animals on city roads

Srinagar: Residents of several areas in the summer capital have complained about the presence of stray animals on roads, saying they pose risk of accidents.

Residents of various areas including Bemina, Barzulla, Rawalpora, Bypass and Sanat Nagar said the increasing population of stray animals including cows, horses and dogs on roads hamper vehicular and pedestrian movement.

They said the stray animals stand in the middle of roads, bringing entire traffic to halt at times.

“Some four to six animals keep roaming in this locality throughout the day. Sometimes they move in herd posing risk to pedestrians,” said residents of Jahawar Nagar.

“The problem is growing with each passing day. The authorities seem to have run out of the options to address this menace,” said Adil Ahmad, a commuter at Jawahar Nagar.

In some city areas, people complain that stray animals even enter premises of their houses.

“Fear has gripped children of our locality due to the presence of these stray animals,” said Ashiq Ahmad, a resident of Natipora.

He said the stray dogs not only impede vehicular movement on the roads but also pose threat to the locals and commuters.

“The menace of stray dogs and horses is increasing alarmingly in the city. Incidents of animals attacking residents in different areas have also seen a steep rise in recent times,” they said.

Official data reveals that from 2004, around 68,000 cases of dog bites have been registered at Anti-Rabies Clinic at SMHS Hospital.

As per the data, between April 2019 and February 2020, at least 6,319 dog bite cases were registered at the Clinic of which 3,975 were from Srinagar alone.

In 2020, the dog bite cases show a decline due to COVID19 restrictions imposed which made people to stay indoors.

An official of Srinagar Municipal Corporation said that ample of measures have been taken about stray dogs.

“Regarding other stray animals, they are being lifted and owners of these animals are penalized under rules while abandoned animals are being shifted to cattle pound,” he said while replying to a query.

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