Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MCL) has been able to sterilise 3,500 stray dogs out of the thousands present in Ludhiana, the menace of stray dogs is haunting the residents as dog-bite cases are still being reported from the city.
Residents are terrified as stray dogs have created nuisance in several localities of the city.
It is pertinent to mention here that the MCL had launched the 'Animal Birth Control' drive on the directions of the central government in February, this year. The drive aiming at controlling the population of dogs was started in collaboration with a Hyderabad-based organisation, Vet Society for Animal Welfare and Rural Development, for sterilising dogs.
City residents often complain regarding the dog menace rampant in their area. The menace of stray dogs has increased to such an extent that people have even prohibited their children from going out to play.
Amandeep Handa, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar, said, "A pack of stray dogs has created such a nuisance in their area that people are scared to go out alone. A few days ago, these dogs surrounded schoolchildren and were about to bite them, when I immediately rushed there and shooed the animals away."
"This is everyday issue and people have to think several times before stepping out of their homes due to fear of stray dogs," he said.
"There are a large numbers of dogs who used to sit in the corners of park and bark at residents passing by. We spend almost one hour in the park every day. During that period we have to carry sticks to shoo the dogs away, otherwise they start following us. We do not even allow our children to play in the park due to the menace of dogs," said group of senior citizens while expressing their resentment over the menace.
Many times commuters meet with accidents due to the stray dogs roaming on the roads. Avinash Jindal, senior medical specialist, civil hospital, Ludhiana, said, "Around 80-90 cases of dog bite are reported every week."
On being questioned about the prevailing horror of stray dogs, YP Singh, senior veterinary officer, MCL, said, "While the plan looks good on paper, the biggest challenge in its implementation is animal lovers who come in our way and force us not to pick up the dogs from their locality."
"Till now more than 3,500 dogs have been sterilised and sterilisation of remaining dogs is on. We seek cooperation of residents to curb the menace," he said.