SMC fails to check stray dog menace

Amid rising dog bite cases, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is going to outsource sterilization of canine population in the summer capital.

Officials said non availability of heating arrangements at Shuhama facility has made it impossible to carry out the operations in winter and as a result the facility is defunct from December last year. In addition to this, more than two years back, SMC started work on a major dog sterilization facility at Tengpora, Srinagar, under Animal birth control and anti-rabies project. However, the project is yet to be completed. 

 “We are aware about lack of infrastructure for sterilization. The only sterilization centre for dogs that was carrying out the job is at SKUAST Shuhama. The facility can carry out sterilization of only around 10 to 15 dogs per day which is not enough. The breeding rate of dogs is rapid and only sterilization with in a time frame and on large scale can help,” said an official of SMC.

SMC veterinary officer, DrJavaid Ahmed said that after consulting various departments, this is for the first time that such large scale project will be taken up. He said that the departments after consulting the experts have decided that 75 percent of the population needs to be sterilized to counter the growing population.

“We have floated the tenders for the large scale and time bound sterilization in Srinagar. The agency will have to carry out census and accordingly sterilization will be carried out. As per last census the projected population can be between around 70,000 or more. We have to catch up with the high breeding rate of the dog population. This is the only way to handle the issue,” Javaid Ahmed said.

He said that four locations will be identified where the make shift infrastructure will be made available for the agency which will get the project.

The officials said that simultaneously they will carry out sterilization at Shuhama. Experts believe that the flawed waste management and wrong attitude of people to dump waste haphazardly has led to the explosion of dog population in Kashmir.

As per a report by the department of Community Medicines, Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, around 58,869 persons were bitten by the dogs in the last ten years in Kashmir. In last five years, 30,000 dog bite cases have been reported in Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) alone. While topping the list in 2020 more than 2,800 cases of dog bite were reported in Srinagar only.