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iamin.in. 08.04.2015

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      Do stray dogs pose serious health hazard in Kashmir valley?
     Regulating dog menace is fast emerging as a pressing concern across the Kashmir valley. A private member's bill tabled in the state assembly on Tuesday has laid fresh emphasis on the matter.
      The recent incident of two minors being mauled to death last month in North Kashmir's Lachipora area of Handwara urged Engineer Abdul Rashid, MLA from North Kashmir's Langate constituency to draw the attention of assembly towards the bill that intends to regulate and control the dangerous, menacing breed of stray dogs in the state.
      Srinagar alone, has at least 49,000 dogs, according to Rashid, and their ratio in comparison to humans is 1:13. As far as the state is concerned, every square kilometer has at least 350 stray dogs, he underscored. In the past eleven months, 4,702 people have been wounded in different stray dog attacks in the state.
      Hospital records validate Rashid's claims It may be noted here that the dog attacks have resulted in more than 20 deaths in the valley in the past five years, according to official records. As many as 3,700 people became victims of canine attacks last year; and at least 2,000 cases were recorded in the state's summer capital only.
      According to Srinagar's SMHS hospital's anti-rabies clinic, as many as 2,118 cases of canine attacks were reported in the city. While last year in June the highest number of 565 cases were received by the hospital followed by 295 in August, 283 in May and 276 in July.
      The menace of increasing number of dogs is not confined to one area only but is spread all across the valley. The anti-rabies clinic says that they received 302 patients from Bandipore, 251 from Baramulla, 214 from Ganderbal, 106 from Pulwama, 77 from Kupwara, 61 from Anantnag and 44 from Shopian.
      Stray dogs roaming in hospitals, streets panic Srinagarites Stray dogs freely roaming in the premises of several city hospitals, including Chest Disease Hospital, raises grave concerns about the safety and sanitation standards followed by the hospital authorities.
      The hospital authorities cry helplessness to curb the movement of these dogs due to the location of the hospital. "Due to the green belt area including a graveyard lies in the catchment area of the hospital, we can hardly check their entry into the premises," an administrative officer at the city's CD hospital justifies.
      Apart from the old city, the threat of ambush by dogs looms larger in uptown areas - Hyderpora, Chanapora, Humhama, Rajbagh - of the city. "It becomes very difficult, especially during the night, to walk from Jawahar Nagar. Hundreds of dogs assemble in the middle of the road every evening," says Haroon, a resident of Jawahar Nagar.
      The high incidence of dog attacks going unabated in the state even pressed the State Human Rights Commission body to term it as 'human rights violations' following which a PIL was also filed in the year 2012.
      However, an official in the state municipal department says that the body has been successful in bringing down the number of dogs since last few years. "We have not only carried out sterilization of dogs but also used effective ways of garbage collection and disposal so that it doesn't feed stray dogs," he says. The official adds that the number of attacks will only decrease with the decrease in population of canines.
      The bill that has pushed the people of Srinagar to ponder the issue has faced opposition from the Deputy CM Dr Nirmal Singh. However, Rashid has urged the Deputy CM to rethink his decision as the stray dogs are posing a serious public health hazard in the state.












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