Stray dogs continue to pose a serious threat to the citizens of Bangalore. The unstable relationship between residents of certain areas and the increasing numbers of dogs is being highlighted by the numbers of dog-bite incidents.
This face-off between the two is despite the joint efforts of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Compassion Unlimited Action Plus (CUPA), who are trying to control the population.
"Stray dogs pose a serious threat to localities, especially children. Around 18 slums of the ward complain frequently about incidents and problems caused by stray dogs," said Kumari Awayi, the BBMP Opposition Leader and the Councillor of Sudham Nagar, in an exclusive talk with IBTimes. She further said the menace, in her area, was "out of control" and advocated the slaughter of infected (stray) dogs.
When questioned about the BBMP's plans to deal with the problem, however, she would only admit that while the corporation was doing everything to control the situation, they have been unsuccessful so far. She refused to reveal details of the measures being taken.
However, she did urge the government to stop issuing licenses for slaughter houses (and clamp down on illegal licensing); the point is that illegal slaughterhouses not only harmed the local environment but also served as sources of food for the dogs.
The Councillor also asked that citizens take responsibility for "increasing population of stray dogs". She stated there were residents who opposed the BBMP's drive to curb the menace and insisted this was a hurdle.
Finally, she also blamed the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the BBPM - R. Shardamma and S. Harish, respectively - for not acting to resolve the situation.
Neither of the two officials were available for comments.
Meanwhile, CUPA is adopting scientific measures in an effort to control the stray dog menace under the BBMP's Animal Birth Control and Anti Rabies Vaccination program.
"Our work is to control the control the birth of stray dogs in the city using scientific measures," said CUPA Koramangala's Field Officer, H. John Raj.
When asked about the measures, he said they vaccinated stray and abandoned dogs with anti-rabies vaccines to prevent the spread of diseases. They also sterilize stray dogs (and other stray animals) around the city.
Pointing out that the "killing of animals is a criminal offence", he added that "Once the surgery was done, dogs are kept inside animal shelters facilities for two days to ensure the animal is not infected, and left the dogs to the places where they were captured earlier."
However, sterilization may not always be the answer.
According to the Councillor of the Shanthi Nagar ward, P. Somya, the dogs often become more aggressive after the surgery. She cited two examples of attacks on children, on Friday morning, and urged the courts to "pass an order to construct rehabilitation centers at a particular place around 20-30km away from the city".
"If there are rehabilitation centers for human beings, then why should there not a similar centre for dogs?" she asked. She added that the condition was severe in her locality that even policemen were afraid to wander around at night; a state of affairs that could lead, she argued, to an increase in criminal activities.