Stray dogs menace: Hyderabad Old City has over 1.16 lakh canines

Hyderabad: The canine menace continues to bear its bloody fangs for Hyderabad as there appears no respite from stray dogs, which, according to official figures, run into several thousands in just the Charminar Zone also known as Old City. According to data furnished by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the Charminar Zone alone is home to over 1.16 lakh such stray dogs. In a response to social activist Kareem Ansari, who had filed a Right to Information query, while the GHMC maintained that it is seized of the situation, data makes it clear that it needs to do much more than that. Sample this: Of the over 1.16 lakh stray dogs in the Charminar Zone. Only about 57% have been sterilised by the corporation. This means that the number of stray dogs that are yet to be sterilised are massive 50,000. The GHMC informed Ansari that those who are facing the stray dog problem can make complaints through the GHMC app, its own control room, social media platforms like Twitter, and by means of phone calls. After sterilisation, these dogs are released in the same area in which they were captured and taken for sterilisation. Also Read Telangana: Stray dogs maul child to death near Kazipet railway quarters But while the human cost of the canine quandary can be understood in terms of victims of stray dogs, an even clearer picture can be had by looking at the financial implications. The GHMC in FY 2021-22, to deal with the stray dog menace across all circles, spent a massive Rs 92,97,848. Indeed, Telangana, in general, and Hyderabad, in particular, have been grappling with the polarising issue of the stray dog menace. It was in February this year that a 4-year-old was mauled to death by rogue canines. More recently, on May 19, a pack of hungry, ferocious stray dogs mauled to death a 7-year-old boy, belonging to a nomadic community, in Kazipet, Warangal. While these incidents prompted outrage from all sections of society, some demanded that these dogs be treated in a more humane fashion, and ruled out their culling. It is neither a secret nor a surprise that the GHMC has been staring in the face of a shortage of veterinary officers. Under fire for not doing enough, the GHMC and Mayor Vijaylaxmi Gadwal, swung into action. In April, an all-party committee submitted its recommendations, listing the measures that should be taken to curb the menace. Among these was an increase in the number of veterinary field assistants and an increase in kennel capacity.