Stray dogs get past civic body in Bhubaneswar

The population of stray dogs has almost doubled to 42,000 in three years; sterilization rate too low

By Sandeep Mishra in Bhubaneswar
  • Published 13.12.18, 1:07 AM
  • Updated 13.12.18, 1:07 AM
  • a min read
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A stray dog in Bhubaneswar. Ashwinee Pati

Dogs are having a free run with the municipal corporation’s effort to keep them away from the venues of the Men’s Hockey World Cup and the city festival falling flat.

Visitors to the Kalinga Stadium and the Exhibition Ground, where the city festival is being held, are having a tough time as they continue to encounter stray dogs, mainly near the designated parking.

“The city has been transformed entirely for the hockey World Cup, but the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) forgot to undertake one key job — tackling stray animals. The stray dogs are just becoming a headache,” said Sweta Mehta, a visitor to Kalinga Stadium on Wednesday.

A civic body official claimed that they had intensified sterilisation and dog catching activities mainly around Kalinga Stadium, Exhibition Ground and major roads of the city, but the lack of kennels was making it difficult to control them.

“We did intensify dog catching activities around the event venues and major roads, but in the absence of infrastructure we are unable to fully contain the menace,” said in-charge of animal birth control programme Subhransu Mishra. He added they were conducting 300 sterilisations a month.

According to the veterinary department, the population of stray dogs in the city was around 20,000 during 2014-15. The figure has increased to 42,000 at present. A veterinarian said that if the BMC continued the practice of steady sterilisation, the dog population would increase manifold.

“We are helping the civic authorities in catching stray dogs and conducting sterilisations. However, the number of such operations should be increased to a 1,000 per month, rather than the present 300. If that is not done, it will be difficult to control their growing population,” said People for Animal Convener Amulya Nayak.

Amiya Mishra, a visitor to the city festival on Wednesday, said that it was disgusting to see that the civic body did not have the ability to control stray animals.