Thane Municipal Corporation sees rise in dog bite complaints

Thane: The complaints of dog bite see immense rise in the last two years, says a Right to Information (RTI) reply provided by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC). As a solution, the TMC dog rescue cell has recently floated a tender for sterilisation process of street dogs after more than two years.

As per the RTI reply to an animal activist from Thane, the city has seen immense rise in the stray dogs population. As in 2017-18, the total complaint of dog bites were 54; the same rose to 395 in 2018-19, while in 2019-2020 the total number of complaints increased to 557 in the city.

According to the official, the lack of sterilisation led to increase in the population of stray dogs. "The 3 years contract to carry out sterilisation programme of stray dogs was expired in February 2017. However, after that due lack of contractors, no tender was floated to implement the sterilisation programme by TMC," said an official from the civic body's health department.

As per the RTI report, the last sterilisation programme was functional between February 2014 to February 2018.

Secondly, the lack of approach by civic body towards attending the complaints of stray animal is one of the major reasons behind the rise in dog bites in the city.

"The local NGO and animal activists have approached the TMC's dog rescue cell several times through their helpline number, but no proper response has been received. Even the head of the cell Dr Kshama Shirodkar is often out of reach or unavailable whenever we have tried approaching her," said Sushank Tomar, an animal activist from Thane.

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