Bhopal: As the state is busy preparing for 2019 Lok Sabha counting, its capital Bhopal has been reeling from the stray dog menace. The latest among its victims is a two and a half-year-old child.
Earlier on May 10, a pack of stray dogs had mauled to death a six-year-old boy- Sunny Jatav- in Bhopal.
Then on Tuesday, the stray dog horror came back to haunt the city once again when a pack of stray dogs attacked five individuals in the Ginnori area of the city.
Among the victims, was the daughter of Abdul Sohail who had gone out to fetch something from a nearby shop nearby with her brother Rehan.
The girl, however, was saved after locals rushed to the rescue and drove the dogs away.
Besides several areas in the new city, the stray dog menace has been a prevalent one in the Old City. People from various residential localities allege that although municipal staffers do turn up after complaint has been lodged, but end up going back after nabbing one or two dogs.
The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) does have an infrastructure in place to rein in the canine menace but it complains of insufficient infrastructure to tackle the issue in a big city like Bhopal.
Sources in the BMC have said that the corporation spends up to Rs 3.30 crore including Rs two crore on controlling the population of dogs. Around Rs 1 crore is spent on rabies vaccination and Rs 60 lakh is the assigned budget for a 40-member dog squad, which has been equipped with half a dozen dog nabbing vehicles.
BMC Commissioner B Vijay Datta told News18 that whatever action is taken against stray dogs is in accordance with the guidelines. “A volunteer organisation has been tasked with the responsibility of controlling the dog population but a single centre is insufficient for a big city like Bhopal. We need to constitute more such centres in the city after the model code of conduct is lifted,” he said.
“A monitoring committee has been constituted in collaboration with animal activists and animal welfare NGOs and we would reconstitute this shortly,” the officer said and added that the number of dog shelter homes will be increased.
City-based animal activist Nilima Kaur said that constant thirst and hunger turns stray canines aggressive in the summer. She urged the civic body to ensure the availability of water for the street dogs.