Srinagar, July 8: The J&K and Ladakh High Court on Friday sought a report from the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) indicating the number of stray dogs in the summer capital and the action plan for containing the canine menace.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the law students of Central University of Kashmir (CUK), a division bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Mohammad Akram Chowdhary directed the Commissioner SMC to submit the details of number of stray dogs available in the city of Srinagar besides the steps taken about the creation about the awareness with regard to dog bites and anti-rabies management.
The Court also asked the commissioner to submit the details about animal birth control and setting up of anti-rabies centres. While the Court asked the Commissioner to submit the action plan of the Corporation for containing the menace of stray dogs and particularly dog bites as also the spread of rabies, it said: “It shall be indicated in the status report as to whether public advisories have been issued in Print and Electronic Media, indicating the Do’s and Don’ts, in order to avoid dog bites.”
Besides asking the Commissioner to mention in the report the number of available animal birth control and anti-rabies centres in Srinagar, the court also asked him to provide details about the number of sterilization on each working day. “He shall also submit the action plan about the setting up of animal birth control and anti-rabies centres.”
The Commissioner, the court said, shall ensure that the produce of energy rich garbage is controlled mainly by the poultry waste “which is energy rich”.
Moreover, the court directed Principal Secretary to the Government, Health and Medical Education Department to file an affidavit, indicating the availability of anti-rabies vaccines and human rabies immunoglobulin injections in all the dispensaries and hospitals throughout Jammu and Kashmir.
The Court also asked to indicate the steps taken for dealing with the complaints filed by the various persons, social activists and victims about the dog bites. The Court asked the Commissioner and other authorities to submit the details by August 9.
In their plea before the court, the petitioners based on the details collected from different sources contend that nearly 90,000 stray dogs are roaming in Srinagar city only. “There have been several instances about the death of some minor children attacked by the stray dogs at different places in and around the City,” they plead.
The bench issued the directions after hearing the students and going through the material placed on record besides examining the order passed by the Court in PIL No. 361/2011 clubbed with PIL No. 12/2018 on 12.02.2022 pertaining to dog menace which was disposed of with direction to all the authorities to ensure that every possible step was taken with regard to curbing the dog menace in J&K as was projected in the PIL.
In order to ascertain about the steps taken for dealing with the dog menace, the court said, it has become necessary to issue notice to the respondents for submitting their detailed response in the first instance. Government Advocate Rayees-u-Din Ganai accepted notice on behalf of the government while Advocate Moomin Khan accepted the same for SMC.