Srinagar, Sep 28: Amid rise in dog bite cases, SMC’s ambitious dog sterilization programme is yet to take off.
Officials said that SMC was supposed to outsource the programme for dog sterilization to an expert agency so that sterilization of the canine population can be carried out on a large scale in a time-bound manner. However, the program is yet to take off.
Greater Kashmir has been receiving complaints from Srinagar and other districts about the growing population of dogs.
“I will talk about my area of Srinagar outskirts. For a year now we have been asking authorities to check the issue of dog menace but nothing is done. Dozens of dogs are roaming in Hazratbal. It is risky to go out without accompanying someone” said Ajaz Ahmed, a local from Hazratbal.
From earlier this year, the SMC officials have been saying that they will set up three new sterilization centers for the canine population. As per the officials the infrastructure that is available for sterilization is at minimum capacity. The SMC’s lone 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.
SMC’s veterinary officer, DrJavaid Ahmed said that the issue of dog menace will be checked soon as most of the formalities regarding setting up of new dog sterilization centers in Srinagar have been completed.
“The DPR of the project has been completed. We are done with the financial approval regarding the project also. Now the clearance for the technical and design part is awaiting and as soon as the concerned department clears it, we will float tenders and the work will start,” he said.
The officials said that after the completion of the new project, the SMC will be equipped with four dog sterilization centers.
“One is already at Shuhama and the other three will come up at downtown, Tengpora, and an additional center at Shuhama. We will be able to carry out 240 sterilization surgeries as compared to around 15 right now” said an official.
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 the 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 bites were reported in Srinagar only.