Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is sterilising stray dogs on a priority basis in two wards after corporators criticised the Health Department officials in the General Body meeting a month ago. The PMC will also procure anti-rabies vaccines soon.
Senior Marathi writer Mangala Godbole was bitten by a stray dog a month ago at Kamala Nehru Garden on Prabhat Road during a morning walk. Corporators cutting across party lines had expressed serious concern over such incidents. According to civic officials, stray dogs thrive on open dumping of wet garbage in bins. Residents and passers-by in the vicinity of these bins become victims of dog bites.
Dr Anjali Sabane, PMC Assistant Medical Health Officer, said, “We have hired two agencies for sterilisation of stray dogs in the city. Earlier, they sterilised dogs randomly in various parts of the city. Now, we have decided to concentrate on individual wards for sterilisation. We have set a target of 60 dogs per day for the agencies. At present, we have selected two wards - Vadgaonsheri and Karve Road. Later, we will choose two more wards. The agencies are tying a green belt around the necks of sterilised dogs as an identification mark.”
She said, “In Vadgaon Sheri area, around 200 dogs have been sterilised while 150 have been sterilised in Karve Road area in the past 15 days. There are 400 kennels located in Mundhwa and at Naidu Hospital.”
The civic body decided to procure 17,000 anti-rabies vaccine vials this year. Around 15,000 dog bite cases are reported in the city every year. Every PMC-run hospital has anti-rabies vaccines. A person bitten by a dog has to undergo a five-day course of anti-rabies vaccines.
According to data provided by the civic body, there are one lakh stray dogs in the city. A formal census of dogs hasn’t yet been carried out. As per the Animal Birth Control (ABC) Act, 2001, a stray dog is caught, sterilised, immunised and then released in the same area. A stray dog control unit is run under the Health Department of the PMC. Complaints of stray dog nuisance are resolved by the four zonal medical officers. The department is decentralised and is run by a zonal medical officer and a division sanitary inspector. Each zonal medical officer has one dog van.