Delhi now knows the number of stray dogs it has and also how many to sterilise before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
A first of its kind survey puts the population at 2.6 lakh dogs approximately.
The task cut out for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is to sterilise 70 per cent of them to bring their population under control before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
And the civic body has decided to focus on female dogs for better results as the survey reveals that more male dogs (55 per cent) were sterilised as compared to females.
The survey also establishes the male-female dog population ratio at 51:49 with 1,34,000 males and 1,28,000 females.
Wildlife SOS, a non-governmental organisation, conducted the survey aimed at understanding the population dynamics of stray dogs for MCD.
It was conducted in all 12 zones of the MCD, in Delhi Cantt and in New Delhi Municipal Council areas between January and September 2009.
The survey puts stray dogs population across Delhi at 2,62,740 approximately.
Of these, there are 2,52,000 under the MCD, while the NDMC areas and Delhi Cantt have 7630 dogs and 3110 dogs respectively.
“Zone wise survey has shown us which areas have high percentage of sterile population and which lag behind,” Delhi Mayor Dr Kanwar Sain said. “Our focus now would be in areas where the percentage of non-sterilised dogs is higher.”
So, efforts will be intensified in Civil Lines, Narela, Rohini, West, Karol Bagh and Shahdara to sterilise street dogs.
Sain said though the survey was conducted across Delhi, the sterilisation programme would be held in MCD areas.
The MCD had established a Society for Stray Canine Birth Control in 2003 and 10 NGOs are working in collaboration with the civic body for sterilisation and immunisation of stray dogs.
The MCD is also establishing a dog sterilisation unit at Karawal Nagar.
Kartick Satyanarayan from Wildlife SOS said the survey was conducted through "population density estimation" using transect siting method.
“Our teams scanned all the 14 areas — 12 MCD zones, NDMC area and the Delhi Cantt — thrice daily for two months to note the encounter rates.”
The findings were categorised in adult males, adult females (also, if pregnant, a different category) and puppies, said Satyanarayan.
“Side by side, a questionnaire was given to respondents for a sample survey.”
He said the MCD should - for effective implementation - go in for a participatory approach, like involving the local residents welfare associations and have an incentive-based strategy for NGOs involved.