Stray animal menace pose threat to people in city areas

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Residents from several residential areas here on Sunday complained about the growing number of stray animals in their localities, which pose risk to the commuters.

Residents from uptown Rawalpora area said increasing population of stray animals including cows, horses and dogs has not only worried locals, but commuters also face difficulties as these animals roam on the streets and roads, affecting the traffic flow.

“We took up the matter with authorities concerned on several occasions but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” said a resident of Madina Enclave.

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

“Some four to six animals keep loafing about in this locality throughout the day. Sometimes they wander in two’s and sometimes they herd together and prowl here and there in search of food,” said residents of Qamarwari.

In inner areas of Qamarwari, some residents said they either prefer to stand at safer places or take alternative routes to reach their destinations.

“The problem is growing with each passing day. The authorities seem to have run out of the options to address this menace,” said a resident.

In some city areas, people complained that stray animals even entre the premises of the hosue and spoiling and damaging household items.

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

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

The menace of stray dogs is increasing alarmingly in the city and incidents of animals attacking residents in different areas have also seen steep rise in recent times.

People in most parts of the city have also been complaining of growing menace of stray dogs while accusing the authorities concerned of paying deaf ear to their concerns.

Official data reveals that from 2004, around 68,000 cases of dog bite 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 2011, a boy named Omar drowned in river Jhelum when a pack of dogs chased him near Zaina Kadal here.

In 2013, the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) had taken strong note of killing of an infant by stray dogs at Habak, terming it as a grave human rights violation and had directed the authorities to take measures to check the canine menace.

Dr Javaid Ahmad Rather, Municipal Veterinary Officer said that lifting of stray animals from the city areas was affected due to COVID19 pandemic as staffers were not able to attend to their duties.

“We have now resumed operations,” he said, adding, “During lockdown we were only able to shift abandoned, sick, and injured animals to cattle pond.”