Lucknow’s civic body gnashes teeth against stray dogsAugust 26th, 2010 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Aug 26 (IANS) Civic authorities in this Uttar Pradesh capital can do little but to gnash their teeth and grunt against the growing stray dogs menace in the city. They have virtually no staff to catch the stray dogs, and no space where the caught canines can be confined before they are sterilised .
Sample this: the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) has only one dog catcher against over 10,000 stray dogs ruling the streets of the state capital.
“As of now, we don’t even have a place where stray dogs can be kept and the operations can be conducted on a large scale. We are able to carry out only a limited number of sterlisation operations,” LMC’s veterinary officer Sudhir Kumar told IANS Thursday.
“We need to keep the dogs under observation for at least six-seven days before they are released. During the period anti-rabies injection is also administered to the dogs,” he added.
After a pack of stray dogs mauled a six-year-old girl inside her school Wednesday, the LMC finds itself in a tight spot.
Anshuma Yadav, a Class 1 student, was attacked by stray dogs while she was playing inside the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Gomti Nagar locality. Anshuma, who is being treated at a hospital, has suffered multiple wounds all over.
LMC officials admit that it is quite a challenging task for them to counter the dogs menace that is growing day by day.
“Yes, it’s now turning to be a very difficult task for us. You can yourself gauge the situation if there’s only one dog catcher in entire Lucknow, which has around 10,000 street dogs,”
“There’s only one permanent post for a dog catcher in the LMC. We on a number of occasions tried to hire dog catchers on a private basis. But virtually no one is ready to take up this (dog-catching) profession or continue with it for a longer period as they are looked down upon in the society,” he added.
The extent of the menace can be gauged from the records of the anti-rabies department of Lucknow’s Balrampur Hospital. In 2006, around 8,000 cases of dog bites were reported in the city. The number increased to 14,000 in 2007, 22,000 in 2008 and 24,000 in 2009.
The numbers of stray dogs in the city are growing because only a limited number of dogs are being sterilised in the absence of adequate space with the civic body for keeping the strays for these operations, veterinary officer Kumar says.
According to officials, at present only 25-30 dogs are sterlised per month by the LMC in assistance with staff of Animal Ashram — a hospital for animals where the sterilisation operations are conducted.
Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma and LMC officials, however, believe the dog menace would soon come to an end in the city once the dog shelter comes up in Lucknow.
“Under the Kanha Upvan Project undertaken by us, a massive dog shelter would come up near the Amausi area. It would accommodate around 4,000 dogs at a time. The project that will be completed within a few months will solve the problem to a considerable extent,” said Sharma.
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