Baramulla, Jun 07: With the increase in dog population and an apparent lack of initiative by the administration in tackling the issue, people across the Baramulla district are in trouble with almost daily reports of dog bites.
In the last one month, around seven dog bite cases were reported in the Kanlibagh area of Baramulla that evoked resentment among the locals who urged the authorities to put an end to the dog menace in the district.
"It is becoming difficult with each passing day to move out of homes amid packs of dogs moving in streets and on main roads in the town," said Ashiq Hussain, a resident of Kanlibagh Baramulla.
The residents told Rising Kashmir that despite an alarming rise in the cases of dog bites, the authorities are yet to devise a concrete plan to address the menace.
Last week, a 4-year-old girl, Aamina , was attacked by a ferocious dog in the Kanlibagh area of Baramulla.
"Over the past few weeks the population of dogs has grown manifold which has led to a scare in the entire locality. A pack of around 10 ferocious dogs are roaming in rural areas of Hyderbeigh, Tilgam, Wanigam Payeen areas of Pattan. In the past few days they attacked people and cattle in the orchards leading to injuries," said Ghulam Hassan Wani, a social activist of Pattan.
He said that not only in main town Pattan but in rural areas also the terror of canines has forced people not to roam alone in the orchards, fields.
Mohammad Ashraf Khan, President of Youth Power Dargam, a non-governmental organisation that works for the development of the area said that administration has been informed about the issue but no concrete steps have been taken.
"Such is the terror of canines that not only school going children are scared of the dogs but adults too are terrified. We are hopeful that the administration will take a concrete step in solving our problem at earliest," Khan added.
In February 2022, a 10 year-old-boy of Gund Ibrahim Singhpora was mauled to death by stray dogs in Pattan area of Baramulla.
In March 2022, a five-year-old girl was critically injured after stray dogs attacked her in the Gund Ibrahim area of Pattan Baramulla.
Soon after the incident, massive protests broke out in the area. The protesters demanded an end to the mayhem created by the stray dogs.
In another similar incident, a three-year-old boy was also injured.
The locals allege that the authorities have so far failed to come up with a solution to the growing dog population in the area.
While the Municipal Committees and the Animal Husbandry Department, Baramulla are the two key departments to carry out birth control of the dogs in the district, the lack of synergy between the two, as well as scarcity of funds and equipment is proving to be a hurdle in carrying out such a drive.
Chief Animal Husbandry Officer, Baramulla Dr. Balbir Singh said that the animal husbandry department is ready to provide technical support to the Municipal Committees in carrying out the birth control of dogs.
"The job of the Municipal Committees is to provide trained men and machinery to catch the dogs and bring them to the Animal Husbandry department for sterilization. We can carry out dozens of surgeries a day. However the post-surgery care is of utmost importance as the department don't have kennels available right now," Balbir added
He said they had sent a proposal to the government for a post-surgery rehabilitation programme.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Executive Officer Baramulla Imtiyaz ul Haq said that the rising increase in dog population is a big issue but the department doesn't have any dog catching vehicles or equipment available.
"The department is working day and night to keep the town clean. We send the garbage picking vans at the doorsteps but locals too have a responsibility. The locals must ensure not to throw garbage on streets which leads to the increase in the number of stray dogs at a place," EO Baramulla added.
Dr. Balbir however said that a complete synergy between Municipal Committees, Animal husbandry, locals and media will ensure a way out for the sterilization of dogs in the district.