Residents of western suburbs in Chennai are worried about the growing packs of stray dogs.
These days, R. Leelamma thinks twice before venturing out on foot from her residence in Pattabiram. She was bitten by a stray dog last month while on her way to the vegetable market and ever since, has remained mainly at home, worried about the possibility of another such incident.
Many residents of western suburbs, including Avadi and Thiruninravur, are wary of the increasing dog population in their localities. Groups of dogs can be seen loitering around at every 100 feet on Chennai Tiruvallur High Road. Residents were also critical of the failure of local bodies to take any action on the issue.
Residents of Prakash Nagar, Thiruninravur, said at least seven persons, including a child, had suffered dog bites in the past few days in their area. Every street in areas such as Navajeevan Nagar, Kailash Nagar, Sriram Nagar and Prakash Nagar has its complement of nearly seven to eight dogs, said residents.
P. Kuzhandaimani, a resident of Prakash Nagar, said: “My friend and I had gone for a morning walk last week when a dog bit him. There are two parks in our area. But, they are not maintained properly by the town panchayat. So we are forced to walk on the main roads and now, due to the dog menace, these roads have turned unsafe for us.”
Residents said garbage strewn on the road near fast food eateries attracted stray dogs. “They pose a risk to pedestrians. The local bodies must take stern measures to dispose garbage properly and levy fines on eateries that dump food waste on roads,” said a resident.
K.T. Rajan, a resident of Bharathiyar Nagar, Pattabiram, said: “I now walk on my terrace as venturing out on the roads has become risky. We are always worried while walking on the roads and hesitate to step out, even for a necessity.”
V. Gopal, ward 1 councillor of Thiruninravur town panchayat, said the local body is yet to take steps to control the dog population. “I have complained about the problem. We plan to launch animal birth control measures to decrease the number of dogs,” he said.
Avadi municipality chairman S.M. Nasser said the local body takes help from private veterinarians for animal birth control programme. “We allocate Rs. 325 towards sterilisation of a dog. Tenders would soon be called for the programme.