Stray dogs pose a threat in Bokaro. Picture by Pankaj Singh
They roam in packs of four or six, terrorising residents of Bokaro and its adjoining areas during night and day, but the local administration can’t do a thing.
Welcome to steel town’s latest nightmare: stray dogs that are getting bolder by the day and ferocious by the night. No wonder dog bite cases at hospitals are rampant.
According to Bokaro civil surgeon S.N. Tewary, this year, 1,297 victims of canine wrath had been administered anti-rabies vaccines at health centres and government hospitals till July.
And since he has no records of injections being given at private hospitals, Tewary believes the actual number of dog bite cases would be much more.
“Strays are a big nuisance for people like us,” said Naresh Kumar Mahto, a software engineer who had a horrifying experience a fortnight ago while travelling on a motorcycle from Petarwar to Bermo with his wife.
Near Phusro, a pack of dogs chased them. Initially, Mahto did not think much of them, but when they picked up speed and looked dangerous, he drove faster. But, the dogs did not give up, ultimately biting the feet of his wife. She had to be given anti-rabies shots at a Phusro nursing home immediately.
“Even those out for a morning walk are vulnerable. But, the district administration is sleeping. Senior municipality officials who move about in cars will never understand what we have to go through,” he alleged.
Apart from Bokaro town, the menace had spread to Bermo, Chas township, Chandrapura, Jaina More, Balidih, Chandankyari and even the industrial hub of Bokaro Thermal.
Citing the absence of a dog pound in Bokaro, Chas municipality chairman Ganga Bhalotia said that she had appealed to the state urban development and animal husbandry departments repeatedly to help them set up a local sterilisation centre.
“But no one is listening to us. We are aware that the stray dogs menace is getting out of control. I will again discuss the issue at our next meeting of ward councillors and then take it up with the Bokaro deputy commissioner,” she said.