Stray dog menace: No sterilisation plan: Rural belts turn into risky zones
The tragic incident in which a four-year-old boy, Viraj Kumar, was mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs in Bahomajra village of Khanna on Monday has once again exposed the district administration’s failure to control the menace of stray dogs.
Despite innocent lives being snuffed out due to dog bite, there is still no concrete plan in place for sterilisation of dogs in rural areas of the district such as Khanna, Raikot, Doraha, Jagraon and other areas falling outside the municipal corporation (MC) limits. Even in Ludhiana city, where the civic body is handling the dog sterilisation project, the situation is no good, with residents raising hue and cry over the increasing number of stray dogs and dog bite cases.
As per the information, as many as 7,416 dog bite cases were reported in 2019 (including those from outside MC limits).
Earlier a Right to Information (RTI) plea filed in 2019 had revealed that 7,619 cases of dog bite were reported at the civil hospital from January 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019. This also includes the dog bite cases reported from the areas outside MC limits.
Fund-starved municipal councils in the district and lack of adequate space for construction of dog sterilisation centres have been a major hurdle in preventing the rising population of stray dogs.
Sources in the Ludhiana MC said some representatives from the additional deputy commissioner (development) office had also contacted the civic body for starting a dog sterilisation project in areas outside the MC limits in 2018. However, the project never saw the light of day and canines remained a constant threat to the lives of residents.
Deputy commissioner (DC) Pradeep Kumar Agrawal said the administration is looking for possible solution and the matter was also discussed with MC officials during the review meeting conducted by local MP Ravneet Bittu at Bachat Bhawan on Tuesday.
“At the time of emergency, the administration asks the animal husbandry department to conduct sterilisation of stray dogs in particular area or village. However, we are working to find a permanent solution for the problem,” said Agrawal, adding that he had also asked the MC officials to see if stray dogs from other sub-divisions or villages could be sterilised at MC’s facility as the civic body is already taking up the project in the city.
The DC, however, said they can also come up with some more centres in rural areas, but the transportation of dogs remains a major constraint for the project, said the DC.
Meanwhile, Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) leader Sarabjeet Singh Kang on Tuesday met the family of four-year-old Viraj Kumar, who was mauled by a pack of stray dogs a day before. Kang said they will take up the matter with the administration. “No anti-rabies vaccine was available at the hospital. We will also ask the administration to shift the garbage dump situated near the victim’s house as a large number of stray dogs rummage in it for food,” Kang said.