Berhampur: The increasing cases of stray dog bites and accidents caused by them have become a serious cause of concern here.
Packs of stray dogs moving on main roads, lanes and by-lanes are giving nightmares to the public, especially bikers.
Seven to eight persons were bitten by these dogs, and 18 to 20 people met with accidents after being chased by dogs last week.
Many people return home late in the night after work. They are the most vulnerable as dogs turn violent at night. They chase bikers for one to one-and-a-half kilometers. Sometimes bikers suffer injuries after falling off bikes.
“It has become difficult for people to move freely both during the day and night. The sterilisation of stray dogs is now on the backburner,” said a city dweller.
The Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) started sterilising dogs for the first time in 2013. At that time a kennel equipped with facilities for surgical sterilisation was built on the premises of the district veterinary office at a cost of Rs 10 lakh.
Under the guidance of the then health officer of BeMC, Subhakant Das, some employees trained in Chennai were deployed for the job.
Six years have passed after construction of this facility, but it is of no use now as it does not have veterinary doctors. The building is now rundown.
“Meat shops and roadside eateries are throwing their leftover food on roads and this attracts stray dogs. As they are getting sufficient food their numbers increase. Sterilisation is necessary to check their ever increasing numbers, but at the same time eatery owners should change their habit of feeding stray dogs,” said some businessmen who have experienced dogs chasing them while returning home at night.
Six months ago the BeMC had devised a plan to tackle the menace. At that time many dogs were caught, but instead of releasing them in jungles they were released on the city outskirts. This has done more harm than good. Their population has increased both inside the city and on the outskirts.
Abani Gaya, convener, Human Rights Protection Forum, said, “The dog menace has become serious. The administration and elected public representatives are responsible for this. It is high time the administration started sterilising the dogs.”
BeMC commissioner Chakraborty Singh Rathore said, “The government is going to appoint a specially trained surgeon to sterilise dogs. The kennel lying unused on the premises of the district veterinary office would be made functional by June-end.”
He added that they had received a letter from former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi asking not to catch dogs moving in packs.