Chandigarh, India, is facing a drastic increase in stray dogs and the dog bite cases. The city reported 500 cases of dog bite every month and the municipal authorities are battling to find a solution.
The victims for these dog bites are mostly children aged 5-8years. The past few months have seen a sudden increase in the number of cases with over 600 cases reported in January. Officials said that over 13,000 persons have been victims in the past two years.
The residents of the city complain that stray dogs can be found roaming around in every neighbourhood and have also occupied parks and gardens, especially in southern and the central sectors. The general public and children find it difficult to use the park for daily walks.
No one other than the Municipal Corporation officials' careless approach is to be blamed, causing the problem to go out of control now. "I fear sending out my children to play outside. The parks, including the Animal Park near my home, are filled with stray dogs and we cannot allow the children to go out without adult supervision," Arun Kumar, a resident of sector 49-D here, said.
Municipal Corporation officials, however, noted that during the past five years, nearly 8,000 stray dogs have been sterilised and vaccinated against rabies. But the population of stray dogs have increased in the recent 5 years to nearly 9000.
Some of the residents have also alleged that the designated civil dispensary in Sector 19 are not available round the clock and functions only till afternoon, making it difficult for the victims to find the vaccine on time in case they are bitten by a dog during late hours.
Chandigarh Mayor Poonam Sharma said the Municipal Corporation was taking efforts with the Union Minister Maneka Gandhi to delegate counsellors of the corporations to meet in Delhi and discuss the strategy to control the stray dog menace in the city.