VISAKHAPATNAM: Alarmed at the rising stray dog numbers, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is contemplating controlling the birth rate of stray dogs in the city.
As stray dog population is multiplying fivefold every year and creating panic among the denizens of Visakhapatnam, particularly night travellers, the GVMC is searching for the best possible ways to control the birth rate of canines. There have been several instances where people, especially those returning home by two-wheelers or on foot after night shifts or late-night movie shows, have been attacked by dogs. Despite many complaints, no effective action has been taken yet by the civic authorities to put an end to this menace.
In fact, civic bodies across the country are expressing their helplessness in keeping a check on the birth rate of stray dogs due to the strict guidelines issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, and the GVMC is no exception. Though it has initiated birth control measures for the past one decade, the canine population has shot up to over 1.8 lakh in and around the city. However, there are no official figures about the stray dog population in Vizag due to lack of proper survey/study.
It may be noted here that the contract period signed with an animal welfare NGO has expired on March 31, 2015, following which the GVMC is undertaking the birth control operations all by itself. The NGO was operating 5,000 dogs per year. However, due to the meagre birth control measures taken up, the canine population increased manifold over the years. Following this, the civic body is now contemplating roping in more agencies besides setting up a birth control centre in each zone. The officials have been directed to search ways to control the canine birth rate within the AWBI guidelines.
“Yes, it is true that the issue is quite serious and we are receiving several complaints. Because of the rules and regulations framed in the Act, we are facing various problems. Recently, the GVMC’s centre at Arilova was modified and renovated to conduct birth control operations. Meanwhile, a fresh contract has to be signed with the NGO again,” said GVMC commissioner Pravin Kumar.
Now that the whole mission needs plenty of funds, the civic body is planning to seek the help of PSUs and private establishments. It would also convene a meeting with the professors in veterinary sciences and officials concerned to find a permanent solution to this issue, he added.