Dogs in Srinagar city have literally gone out of control. According to a report published in Rising Kashmir on Friday (November 29), 3500 dog bite cases were recorded in Kashmir in last six months. In Srinagar alone, an average of 273 dog bites cases are recorded every month. As people know many cases have been witnessed where the victims have been groaning in pain either at their homes or in the hospital. This state of affairs has given Srinagar the dubious distinction of becoming the ‘City of Dogs’.
The city is dotted with parks, shrines and mosques. The problem of dogs shadowing almost every human being in the city has been there for years. The government has failed to do anything. From time to time statements have been issued suggesting that government was taking some remedial steps. From sterilization to making dog pounds, there are many claims to the credit of the government.
The situation could be seen worsening as it is mating time and a whole new breed will soon be on the streets and in alleys. In this regard the government has proved too incompetent and is not in a position to take a stand
Thousand of dogs could be seen roaming in Srinagar as if it is their territory. A Srinagar Municipal Corporation official has said that the corporation is sterilizing 8 to 10 dogs each day. If there are 20,000 dogs in Srinagar, it will take 2000 days to sterilize all of them. But in five years instead of 20,000 there will be more than 80,000 dogs in the city. Therefore, Srinagar will never be able to get rid of the stray dog problem.
The people in Kashmir have tried everything in hand to get rid of this menace. They have tried every option possible and have even taken a legal recourse to save themselves from increasing dog attacks. If Srinagar Municipality Corporation (SMC) started the process of sterilizing years ago why didn’t it reduce their population? It was stated that all the residential areas are to be made dog-free, this also hasn’t been done yet. The reluctance to proactively respond to this threat on part of authorities has worsened the situation tremendously; one needs to question the logic behind this attitude.
People die every year from rabies, the majority of them due to bites from infected dogs. The best defence against rabies is not the absence of dogs, but their presence – the presence of vaccinated dogs. Dogs that have been vaccinated against rabies actually serve to protect the human inhabitants of their neighbourhoods from the disease. But where sterilization is undoable, vaccination seems a farfetched idea. The truth is that SMC officials when the feel the wrath of the people and are faced with hundreds of complaints they catch some dogs and release them in other areas. It is simply not possible that the dog population would increase so much after proper sterilization drive. SMC has always lied about the figures and the real situation.