Urban residents in stress over increasing stray dog menace

Report by: 
JYOTI
Port Blair
5 May 2018

Even as the Port Blair Municipal Council is striving hard to sustain cleanliness and implement the Smart City project, the civic agency appears to falter in addressing some basic problems faced by residents. Menace of stray dogs is one such problem which is increasing day-by-day in several parts of the city.
According to reports, many municipal wards, particularly the new ones included in 2015, have seen an alarming rise in the number of stray dogs putting safety of the residents at risk. Stray dogs are often seen chasing pedestrians and bikers on streets mainly during night time. Though official figures could not be ascertained, sources say that at least a couple of dog bite cases are reported in health centres in the city every day, while many sustain injuries by falling from bikes after being chased by the dogs.
An official of the Animal Husbandry Department, who didn’t wish to be quoted said that mushrooming of fast food centres in the city mainly in areas like Bhatu Basti, Garacharma, Prothrapur, New Pahargaon, Pathergudda etc is one major reason for the growing numbers of stray dogs. These fast food outlets attract dogs into the city limits as the animals feast on the waste dumped by the eateries along the roads. Though the civic body has put measures in place to contain the menace, packs of dogs can be found at any given place – be it residential areas, marketplaces or offices, said the official.
"The sight of around a dozen stray dogs after you while returning home after work will give goose bumps to any normal human being. The area where I reside is one such example where people prefer to stay indoors after 7 pm. This area is so crowded with canines day and night that people don’t even allow their children to play in the open as they happen to be soft targets of these ferocious animals. Alarming rise in the population of these stray dogs has become a serious concern for residents in the city and the Municipal Council should collaborate with the Animal Husbandry Department and NGOs working in the sector to contain the population of stray canines,” said a resident of New Pahargaon.