Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

1 dog bite every 6 minutes: Delhi faces canine crisis

- Mohit Sharma

NEW DELHI: Dogs are taking a big bite of Delhi — one every six minutes.

On an average, 7,729 cases of dog bite were received by the Capital’s 35 government hospitals between January 1 and October 2015, informatio­n obtained under RTI has revealed. The figure is expected to be much higher as private hospitals are not required to report these cases to the government.

While city’s three municipal corporatio­ns spend crores of rupees on sterlising strays every year, they still don’t have a record of the dog population. A conservati­ve estimate puts their numbers at around 400,000, sources said.

“It’s shocking that while people are being bitten by dogs and their population is increasing, the authoritie­s have not done anything,” RTI activist JS Walia said. Animal right activists and NGOs while questionin­g the numbers blamed lack of commitment on part of officials for faltering sterlisati­on programme.

“Data provided by the government­s is based on the vaccinatio­n purchased or administer­ed, hence can’t be relied upon. Though the need for a better setup and the willingnes­s of the authoritie­s can’t be stressed more,” animal rights activist Rishi Dev said.

Around 33,000 strays were sterilised by three civic bodies last year. The civic bodies rely heavily on six NGOs for the work and pay `770 for every sterilisat­ion.

“On any given day we receive 20-30 cases of dog bites in our emergency. While a large number of them are children, the number of adults is not less either,” said a doctor at the government-run Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

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