20 dog bite cases a day, yet MC remains in slumber

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Mar 27, 2015 11:36 IST

A day after a stray dog bit 13 people in Manimajra, councillors lashed out at the municipal corporation officials for not reigning in the menace even as it could be fatal.

As per a survey, there are 8,000 stray dogs in the city that councillors claim have now crossed 10,000. Of these, only 1,002 dogs have been sterilised in the past two years, even as over 13,500 residents have been bitten in the same period, according to MC data, which has also been cited by mayor Poonam Sharma.

The onus of dog sterilisation lies with two NGOs People for Animals (PFA) and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), who carry out the process at their facilities.

But despite the project being a failure, as is evident from the growing population of stray dogs, the corporation has failed to look into effective methods to tackle the menace.

Nominated councillor Major DS Sandhu (retd), who has raised the issue in the House several times, said, “I am tired of raising the issue in the House, as the officers fail to act. Sterilisation is not effective at all.” He added, “I have also recommended several times to put collars around the necks of dogs that have been sterilised. But I am yet to see that happen.”

Senior deputy mayor Rajesh Gupta said the officers would never learn any lesson until they themselves were bitten. “It is unfortunate that they complete formalities on paper only, while the ground reality is entirely different,” he said. Gupta added that the corporation had failed to even fill the vacant posts in its medical officer health wing, as a result the team was ill-equipped to catch stray dogs.

A senior officer of medical officer health, MC, admitted that the number of dog bite cases was increasing at the anti-rabies dispensary in Sector 19.

Dr MS Kamboj, superintendent, slaughterhouse, MC said, “We will hold a camp at Manimajra for vaccination of stray dogs that may have come in contact with the dog that bit 13 people. As far as the dog-bite cases are concerned, we are trying to educate the residents through seminars and camps.”

Lack of an aggressive campaign for sterilisation of stray dogs

Though the sterilisation project was handed over to NGOs People for Animals (PFA) and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the project has proved to be a damp squib, as the population of stray dogs continues to multiply
Last year, an MC team went to Nagpur to study the problem and even filed a report. But besides opening an additional anti-rabies clinic in Sector 38, no concrete step has been implemented.

Shortage of staff to catch stray dogs

Dog that attacked 13 dies

The dog that bit 13 people, including seven children in Manimajra on Wednesday, died on Thursday. Dr MS Kamboj, superintendent, slaughterhouse, MC, said they had sent the viscera to the Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli, to confirm if the dog was rabid. Meanwhile, panic has spread in Manimajra after news of the dog’s death spread.

What they say

The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, should be changed according to the state. When we can kill goats and hens, why not dogs? Authorities are helpless as the law does not allow them to take action.
Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman, Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations, Chandigarh
The MC should approach the SC for amendment of Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules. The MC House has already approved that ferocious and aggressive dogs be killed, but the administration has done nothing in this regard.

Subhash Chawla, former mayor

The problem has persisted in Manimajra for the past several years, yet the MC has failed to act. Sterilisation of dogs should be done in a phased manner.
Sandhya, mother of Piyush, who was bit by a stray dog on Wednesday

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