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Canine terror in Patiala: 31 dog-bite cases every day

Dog bite cases in Patiala have increased as no measures have been taken to tame the stray dogs, which are a terror in remote areas.

punjab Updated: Jul 08, 2017 10:04 IST
Simran Kaur
Simran Kaur
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Dog bites,Canine,Patiala
Stray dogs roaming around in packs is a common sight in Patiala.(Bharat Bhushan /HT)

It’s canine terror in Patiala as nearly 31 people were bitten daily by stray dogs during the first five months of the year as the overall figure for the five months from January to May is 4,791. At least 967 dog bite cases were reported in May only.

Last year, as many as 4,997 cases of dog bite were reported in the district.

On Monday, dogs mutilated four-year-old Harman Singh of Bishangarh village in Sanaur, and he had to undergo plastic surgery of the face. The child was attacked by a group of dogs. Two students were injured in Patran when they were attacked by dogs. They were on way to their school.

Dog bite cases in the district have increased as no measures have been taken to tame the stray dogs, which are a terror in remote areas.

The municipal corporation (MC) had planned a sterilisation drive in 2015. There was a plan to sterilise 2,000 dogs, but it was stopped after 700 dogs were sterilised.

A four-year-old victim undergoing treatment at Rajindra Hospital. (HT Photo)

“The dog sterilisation plan was stopped as Union minister Maneka Gandhi objected to the selection of the steriliszation agency. However, we are again going to start the sterilisation process again, but still we are short of funds,” said mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj.

The situation is quite grim in Sanaur, Patran, Nabha, Rajpura, and some other towns. But the municipal committees have no funds to deal with the dog menace. There is no check on the dog population even in rural areas, as panchayats have no mandate or funds to carry out sterilisation drives. “Several times, we had raked up the issue with the animal husbandry department and the panchyat department, but no one listens. Stray dogs have now become a terror,” said Satnam Singh of Behru village.

Though there are not many dog bite cases in Patran, but there is always a fear of dog bite due to a large number of dogs there. “Families prefer to keep their children indoors or elders always accompany children when they go out of theri houses,” said Yogesh Kumar of Patran,

Baldev Singh, a resident of urban estate phase-2, said the problem has crossed limits, but the civic body has done nothing so far.

“Groups of stray dogs could be witnessed roaming in the streets and the situation is worst during nights when most of the people fall prey to their attack,” he said.

Joyeeta, a resident of Gurbakash colony said, the residents have often complained to the municipal corporation (MC) authorities about the dog menace but to no avail.

One of the dog bite victims, Randhir Singh, 56, said he had suffered a spinal bone injury after he fell down during the attack by stray dogs, while he was having a morning walk in a park.

In April, the figure was over 650 cases. The severity of the problem could be gauged from the fact that the cases of dog bites continued increasing manifold.

However, both the district administration and the Patiala municipal corporation seem to have completely turned a blind eye towards the increasing menace of stray dogs.

One of the doctors at Rajindra hospital said the situation has worsened in the past two months due to mating season of the dogs.

“We are receiving 7-8 cases of dog bites on a daily basis from the city. The children and elderly are mostly among the victims,” a doctor said, demanding anonymity.

These are only the cases, which were reported to government civil hospitals and dispensaries across the district. “The number is much more if those who visited private hospitals and chemist shops for anti-rabies vaccination are taken into account,” said Rajesh Kumar, a government doctor.

Meanwhile, the mayor Bajaj said fresh tenders have been floated for animal birth control (ABC) programme. The ABC programme will be launched soon, he added.

District epidemiologist Dr Gurmanjeet Kaur said dog bite cases increased because of rise in the stray dog population. However, she said that there is not much increase as compared to the previous year.

“Our job is to provide treatment, but the problem will be resolved only if the population of dogs is put on check, which is the job of civic bodies, veterinary department and panchayat departement,” she said. She said that majority are dog bite cases, but a few cases of cat and jackal bites were also reported.

First Published: Jul 08, 2017 10:03 IST