BANGALORE: In the wake of a girl being mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs in Chandra Layout in Bangalore city, the State Government has launched a special drive to weed out the dog menace, Minister for Health R. Ashok told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
In a reply to a question by K. Jayaprakash Hegde (Independent), Mr. Ashok said 1,574 dogs had been picked up and killed.
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) along with four other voluntary organisations had been entrusted with the task of sterilising street dogs to contain their numbers.
A sum of Rs. 9 crore had been earmarked for purchase of the anti-rabies vaccine, he said.
Several members, including R. Ramalinga Reddy, R. Roshan Biag, V. Somanna, Narendra Babu (all Congress), G.V. Sriramareddy (CPI-M) and Vatal Nagaraj (Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha) expressed displeasure over the Government's failure to check the menace of street dogs.
The girl was attacked by stray dogs in Chandra Layout recently and was mauled to death, triggering a public outcry.
There are about 56,000 stray dogs in Bangalore city.
He said there was no shortage of anti-rabies vaccine in government hospitals and Rs. 58 crore had been earmarked for purchase of vaccines for dog bite in 2006-07.
Mr. Nagaraj, who was dissatisfied with the reply given by the Minister, staged a walkout.
Mr. Ashok admitted that shortage of staff had affected delivery of services in government hospitals and health centres across the State. There were 6,800 vacancies in various hospitals and the process had been initiated to fill them, he said.
In a reply to questions of Siddu Savadi (BJP) and Mr. Sriramreddy, the Minister said there was no shortage of medicines in hospitals.
For the convenience of public, new medical stores had been set up in front of all government hospitals, he said.
G.V. Madhuswamy (JD -U), Ramesh Kumar (Congress), Mr. Nagaraj and Mr. Hegde suggested to the Minister to conduct surprise raids on hospitals to ensure quality of service.
Nearly 75 per cent of the medicines supplied by the Government did not reach the health centres, they alleged.