PATNA: Stray dogs are a big menace in the state capital, with about one lakh of them roaming the city streets. As a result, Patnaites in almost every locality face a serious threat of dog bite these days.
Sources said the Patna Municipal Corporation(PMC) has no animal birth control programmeto sterilize the stray ones. So, there is no way to check the growing number of canines.
Sources said PMC had a post of dog shooter about 10 years back. But now, killing of canines is not allowed by courts, which have ruled in the past that stray dogs should be sterilized, not killed. Only if a dog is rabid or wounded or incurably ill, it can be killed by the authorities by following rules and guidelines.
PMC commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal said, "PMC deploys some sanitation workers to catch the stray canines on a regular basis from every locality. They put the canines in a vehicle and abandon them in remote areas out of the city."
The PMC floated a tender about six months back to outsource the animal birth control programme, but there was no takers for it. The civic body has a sanctioned post of a veterinarian, which is lying vacant for the last few years.
"People want us to take away stray dogs from their locality, especially during summer when they keep lying on the streets. People get disturbed by their barking. Such dogs tend to attack every new person entering the locality," said Sudhir Kumar, assistant health officer, PMC. He said that with extermination being illegal, they are left with the only option of catching and leaving the stray dogs at some isolated place.
Debojyoti Ghosh, an associate of People for Animal Society, said, "This procedure is also inhumane as the abandoned dogs would not be able to mix with other canines of the new locality. They would not get proper food and might die due to starvation."
Arjun Bhengra, a retired state government employee said, "PMC should be serious in their approach as the presence of such dogs in streets has made the situation difficult for children." One Anil Choudhary said, "I had to move from pillar to post for vaccine after my son was bitten by a stray dog."