By Nazima Sidiq
Srinagar: With the much hyped dog sterilisation programme launched in 2013 unable to deliver the desired results, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation says its intends to boost the programme with added impetus.
“I accept the authorities failed in this issue but we will take a major initiative of sterilization of dogs in Srinagar. I am seriously concerned about this issue. Within two months the people across Srinagar would feel a sigh of relief,” Commissioner SMC Dr Shafakat Khan told Kashmir.
Khan said a facility for sterilization of dogs would be coming up at Tengpora Batamaloo where the corporation hopes to sterilize 90 dogs a day. The facility, Khan said, was delayed due to “financial crunch”, however, the proposed facility reportedly also faces opposition from the local residents in Tengpora.
Currently the corporation can conduct at the most 15 sterilization procedures a day in coordination with SKUAST Kashmir at the agriculture varsity’s Shuhama campus.
However, given the large dog population, – 43000 according to 2013 census – making the sterilization programme effective remains a far-fetched challenge.
“A female dog can produce 20 pups a year and has a reproductive span of eight to 10 years. Considering the survival chance of the pups, (theoretically) 1.5 lakh pups can be added to the dog population,” said Dr Javeed Rather, Veterinary Officer with the SMC.
“We sterilize around 2000 dogs a year, rather we have target of 2500. In such a situation if we manage to even maintain the population it counts as an achievement,” Rather said.
SMC insiders admit that sterilising 2000 dogs a year from a population of 43000 can hardly be effective in curtailing the dog population, which seems to be thriving on the protein rich leftovers in the city.
“A population of 43000 dogs is vast, to say the least, and despite the municipality effort open dustbins are common sights in the city. People rarely find themselves in the street without the unfriendly sight of dogs accompanying them,” Rather said.
The dogs have to be provided pre and post surgical care, and are let free in their localities only after they recover from surgery.
Rather says that currently two veterinary surgeons perform the sterilization surgeries, a number SMC hopes to augment. Besides, it has eight “well trained” dog catchers, says Rather.