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Stray dogs have a free run in Sgr city, ‘Govt action plan in tatters’

Srinagar, Apr 12: With the authorities here in summer capital Srinagar failing to curb the growing population of stray dogs, the canines pose serious threat to the people especially to the children.
The residents in most of the areas including Bemina, Qamarwari, Batmalloo, Tangpora, Barzula, Norbagh, Lal chowk said that due to the presence of dogs, they are unable to make a move on the roads especially in the morning and evening times.
Bilal Ahmad of Bemina, M. I. G colony said that the authorities have no way to control this menace. “This is a major problem for all of us. Stray dogs bite people, chase them when they go to prayers early in the morning, and scare away children,” he said.
One of the senior citizens of the Srinagar said that stray dogs can be seen in large groups around garbage dumps in the residential areas. “These dogs have made the life hell, particularly for women and old age persons,”
The inhabitants said that it seems that the authorities are unaware of various laws regarding how to check the growth of stray dogs.
They said that even after making several complaints to the authorities nothing much has changed. “Some of the dogs living in our area are obviously rabid. Not just bites, but several accidents also keep taking place as they keep following the motorists even after dark, said Jaffar Ahmad of Batmalloo and added that many children have been bitten in the last few months, making the others too scared to go out and play,”
Residents from Khanyar , Habba Kadal, Rambagh, Jawharnagar and Solina, Karanagar also claimed that the stray dogs has hampered smooth movement of people.
“Stray dogs have spread terror in our locality. Our children fear to move out even during day. The dumper bins placed on road sides by SMC have turned out to be a breeding ground for dogs. We appeal to SMC officials to take measures to check the canine population in the area,” they said.
People believe that street dog numbers continue to affect people in majority of the areas of Srinagar city and other towns and this will be the trend if the authorities continue to do nothing. “The control methods used are inadequate, as trapping is rarely a method that is considered and is totally undervalued and underutilized,” one of the local residents of Srinagar said.
According to official data, there are about 48,000 dogs in the city, but unofficial estimates say the number is about 1, 00,000.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government had informed that 30,711 dog bite cases have been reported in Srinagar during the last six years.
Sources said that 30,711 dog bite cases were registered at an anti-rabies clinic at the SMHC hospital in Srinagar from 2012-13 to 2017-18 up to September.
According to experts, the reason behind the ferocity of the dogs is the high-protein offal they are fed regularly because of the dietary habits of residents of Kashmir, where mutton and chicken are a staple diet.
An SMC official blamed that the people throw food packets on the streets and these attract dogs. “When someone tries to clear it, the canines bite them. There is a need to keep the streets and roads clean,”
It is to mention here that the SMC had claimed that they have signed a memorandum of understanding on sterilization of dogs with SKAUST for resuming dog sterilization program in the city.
The state government had ordered the constitution of a state-level implementation and monitoring committee for the control of stray dog population in Kashmir.
The order was issued in the wake of public criticism that the authorities concerned, especially the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, have failed to check the menace of stray dogs.
The committee was said to be function under the chairmanship of the administrative secretary of the housing and urban development department. The committee was asked to study the reasons behind such a high number of dog bites and whether the culprits were pet or stray dogs.

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