Packs of stray dogs common sight in Srinagar

Packs of stray dogs common sight in Srinagar
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Rayees Magray

Srinagar: Amid tall claims of Srinagar Municipal Cooperation (SMC) that dog population in Srinagar has reduced, the threat of stray dog packs seen everywhere continuous to pose a serious threat to the city populace.
The official statistics reveal that from April 2017 to February 2018 5496 dog bite cases were reported in Srinagar.
The official statistics also reveal that stray dog biting cases over the years is rapidly increasing, in 2015-2016, 1724 cases were reported, in 2016-2017, it was around 6753 cases and in 2017-2018.
Despite making tall claims, authorities so far have failed to put a check on the growing population of stray dogs in the city posing as serious threat to the residents.
The packs of stray dogs are a common sight in places like Lal Chowk. Bemina, Qamarwari, Batmalloo, Rawalpora, Khaniyar, Razikadal, Jawaharnagar, Padshahibag.
An official said that people throw heaps of garbage on roads and food packets are thrown in open.
“Dogs are mostly seen at those places. It is an open invitation for dogs to gather there. Sometimes they attack the persons who pass through the area,” he said.
While talking to Kashmir Reader, Srinagar Municipal Cooperation (SMC) Commissioner Rayaz Ahmad Wani said that “The stray dog population has reduced as compared to past. It was 90,000 in 2011, 49,000 in 2014 and now in 2018 it is just 30,000 which show our efforts to control stray dog population in the city, while as stray dog bite cases have also reduced from 7000 t0 5000 at present”.
He also said that for curbing the stray dog menace in the city they are closing all open garbage sheds.
“Door to door collection of domestic garbage by deputing fleet of vehicles, special garbage collection vehicles are being provided to all hoteliers, restaurants and poultry outlets besides Animal Birth Control Program (ABC-AR) centre is coming up at Tengpora at a cost of around Rs 1.47 crore to enhance the number of surgeries to 70-80 per day which was 10-15 earlier to check stray dog population”, he added.
Professor and Head of Department of Community Medicine, Dr Saleem Khan told Kashmir Reader that “We receive 15-20 fresh cases of stray dog bites per day, at the first instance we quickly provide anti-rabies vaccine to such patient which is free of cast and now we have started Rabis Emino block-balin to cure such patients. The number of stray dog bites is increasing and there is need to check the growing population of stray dogs in the city.”
Haseena Banu of Habbakadal told Kashmir Reader that recently she was attacked by a stray dog.
“It is not only me; children and elderly persons are always at the risk of attacks by stray dogs. The number of stray dogs is increasing here but unfortunately, no action is taken to check stray dogs.”