Rashid Paul

HC raps SMC for failing to curb stray dog menace

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Srinagar, May 29: “No concrete steps at all have been taken by Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to reduce the menace of stray dogs in the city by reducing availability of energy-rich garbage to them”, the J&K High Court observed Wednesday.

The court had on May 01, 2019, directed the Commissioner SMC to curb the menace of stray dogs in the city by reducing availability of energy-rich garbage to them.

Perusing the status report by the Corporation on the subject, a division bench of the court observed that “no concrete steps at all have been taken with regard to the order of 1st May 2019”.

“The report merely suggests setting out proposals made by the Chief Sanitation Officer without anything more,” observed the bench.

The court directed the SMC to place before it the step-wise method of garbage collection, its segregation, dumping and the ultimate treatment accorded to it.

“The Corporation shall specifically inform this court about the manner in which garbage is collected from the households and the location of the dumping sites,” it directed.

The court further asked the largest civic organization of the Kashmir to give a list of the locations at which it has installed segregated dustbins in the Srinagar city and the manner and schedule in which the garbage is collected from there.

The court also directed the Corporation to file within three weeks the solid waste management bylaws before the next date of hearing of the public interest litigation.

A direction was issued to the Housing and Urban Development department to consider the request made by the SMC about the financing of the project on solid waste management in the city and take a decision thereon within three weeks from today.

A census conducted by the government revealed that the Srinagar city had 90,000 stray dogs in 2011. But the recent official data claims that the capital city of Srinagar has 40,000 to 45,000 stray dogs.

The data claims that the number has decreased significantly over the years.

The decline in number is, however, being questioned by civil society groups who say the population of stray dogs cannot slide without any practicable programme to control their reproduction.

Nearly 31,000 cases of dog bites were reported at the lone Anti-Rabies Clinic of the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar between 2012 and 2017, reveal official statistics.

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