Srinagar, Apr 30: Failure of authorities to check growing stray dog menace in the summer capital is taking heavy toll on people.
In absence of a major dog sterilisation programme, stray dog menace has gripped almost every locality of Srinagar. The gravity of stray dog menace can be assumed from attack by canines on 39 persons including 17 tourists at Buchwara area near Boulevard road here on Friday evening. The injured were shifted to SMHS Hospital.
Despite massive increase in dog bites, SMC has failed to take any measure for checking the menace.
“If this incident can happen on tourist hub Boulevard, we can imagine situation in other areas of Srinagar. Stray dogs have occupied every lane and bylane in Downtown,” said Irfan Ahmad of Nowhatta. “We cannot venture out in evenings due to presence of scores of dogs,” he said.
“SMC has been saying that they will launch a major dog sterilisation programme but so far they did nothing. We are unable to let our children move out given risk of bites,” said Irfan Ahmed, a Nowhatta local.
An official from the SMC said that the department is going to set up new sterilisation centers for the canine population. He said that currently the infrastructure that is available for sterilisation is at minimum capacity.
“The SMC’s lone centre at Shuhama is able to carry out sterilisation of around 15 dogs per day which is negligible as compared to population of dogs in Srinagar. We are going to increase dog sterilization capacity by setting up new dog sterilization centers at Shuhama and Tengpora. We have finalized the majority of the work and hope the process will start soon,” said the official.
The officials at SMC said that after the completion of the new project they will have three more dog sterilization facilities for Srinagar and the department will be able to carry out around 240 sterilization surgeries per day.
“We have had multiple meetings on the issue. The previous outsourcing process did not materialise. Now we have decided to outsource the process with some relaxations so that agencies will carry out the process without delay. We have also identified the land in Srinagar to create one more dog sterilisation center in Srinagar city and soon there will be a respite from the issue,” said the official.
SMC commissioner, Ather Amir Khan said that they will expedite work on the dog sterilisation project. He said they are done with tendering process and work will start soon.
“We have floated tender for Tengpora sterilisation center and work will start there in a few days. The Shuhama sterilisation center is also functional and we are identifying one more location at Chatrahama Hazratbal to establish one more dog sterilization center. We are also floating separate tenders to empanel agencies who will carry out sterilization of dogs”, Khan said.