With incidents of stray-dog attacks registering a sharp rise in Gurgoan, residents have been left feeling jittery. The city’s Civil Hospital, which would earlier get around five dog-bite cases a day, has seen the number swell to 3,345 between January and May this year.
Last year, an average of 150 cases were reported in a month, which increased to a whopping 669 cases this year, registering a monthly increase of over 400 per cent. Confirming the trend, Vijay Kumar, deputy chief medical officer of Gurgaon, said, “The number of dog-bite cases has indeed gone up. And, a lot of people who can’t afford expensive treatments are now coming to government hospitals and getting cheaper vaccines.” Surprisingly, despite rising incidents of dog bites, there is no specific authority in the city to keep tabs on the cases of rabies.
Authorities confirm that the population of stray dogs in the city is about 60,000 at present, which stood at 57,000 last year. This is an encouraging figure as it shows negligible increase, claim veterinarians, who feel the stray-dog population has been sufficiently contained with the help of mass-scale sterilisations. Medical officials say they also conduct anti-rabies vaccination drives periodically, which costs the government somewhere around Rs 8.5 lakh annually.
The residents of DLF Phase-II live in perpetual fear, as stray dogs populate every nook and corner the vast area -- and residents don’t know when they can provoke an attack. Despite repeated complaints, the civic authorities have done nothing to control the situation. Narrating her daily plight, resident Reshmi Soni says, “It becomes really risky task to take my dog out for a walk, as all the strays start to attack my pet.”
The MCG, however, claims it is doing its bit to remedy the situation. The contract for sterilising and vaccinating strays has been given to Friendicoes. Around 15,000 surgeries and 8,200 vaccinations have been done across the city last year.
“Earlier, there was some trouble over the funds for sterilisation, as half the amount came from the central government. But now, the MCG has decided to bear the entire cost and get the sterilisation done through Friendicoes,” said MCG joint commissioner Rohit Yadav.