Guess what’s giving sleepless nights to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat?
No, it’s not a security threat from any terror organisation and neither is it because of any political decision that he has to take.
- Strays in districts- Dehradun: 24,000 ; Nainital: 770; Mussoorie: 969
- Dogs sterilised- Dehradun: 4,312; Nainital: 400
- Man:Dog ratio
- Big cities (Dehradun and Haridwar) 29:1
- Small cities (Mussoorie, Nainital, Haldwani and others) 49:1
It is the stray dogs near CM’s residence that are giving sleepless nights to Rawat and his security staff. The situation is so bad that a letter has been issued from CM’s residence to Humane Society International (HSI) urging it sterilise the dogs in Dehradun Cantt area. HSI is an international organisation that works on animal protection issues around the world.
“A letter was issued from CM’s residence demanding to conduct sterilization (of stray dogs) near his house immediately. As per the letter, the dogs gather on the main road at night and create ruckus causing difficulties for the security staff,” an officer requesting anonymity told Hindustan Times.
The letter from CM’s residence comes even as an Army officer was booked for allegedly beating three stray dogs to death and injuring two others in Garhi Cantonment area. The Army has reportedly initiated a court of inquiry following the incident.
The two incidents are not isolated. People in the state capital have been complaining about the rising number of stray dogs. As per the latest estimates of HSI, Dehradun municipal area is home to nearly 24,000 stray dogs. This figure has grown by nearly 4,000 since October, 2016, when HIS had started sterilisation of dogs at Animal Birth Control (ABC) Centre in Kedarpuram area. Since then it has successfully operated 4,312 dogs.
As per the official estimates, a man-dog ratio of 29:1 has been reported in cities such as Dehradun and Haridwar, which is extremely high. The ratio also takes into account the pets. It is little better in smaller cities such as Mussoorie and Nainital where 49:1 man-dog ratio was recorded. The HIS estimates the number of stray dogs in Uttarakhand at about 3 lakh.
The HSI now has also started carrying out sterilisation operations in Nainital and Mussoorie too. The tourist destinations reported 770 and 969 stray dogs, respectively, as per last year’s survey. In less than a month after being inaugurated, the ABC Centre in Nainital has successfully sterilised 400 dogs.
“The government is supportive and the centre is completing the target at an exceptional rate,” Gauri Maulekhi, member, state ABC monitoring committee, said.
The Doon Hospital, which is now attached with Doon Medical College, reports at least 30 dog bite cases every day. “We are receiving an average of 30 dog bite cases each day,” Dr Sadiq Umar, skin specialist at the hospital said.
Explaining the gravity of the stray dog menace, Mahesh Bhandari, president Doon Resident Welfare Front, said, “Strategic sterilisation started few months ago. It will take time to control the population. Meanwhile, residents are facing the heat. The condition is so bad that people even fear coming out of their own houses.”