Civic apathy gives hard time to residents

Rajahmundry: Stray animals like dogs, cattle, monkeys and pigs roaming about freely across the city have not only been creating a lot of hardship to people but also terrorising public, especially elderly persons, women and children.

The problem of stray animals has been haunting the city for a very long time but civic authorities seem to be oblivious to the issue. Their failure to address the issue on one pretext or the other has not given any relief to people. One can find packs of stray dogs moving menacingly on the streets and barking at people.

They even chase anyone in case they are provoked unintentionally. Trying to run away from them, some fall down and suffer injuries.

The dog menace in the city is so severe that, on an average, 20 to 30 patients arrive at the government hospital to get anti-rabies vaccine suffering dog bite every day.

Government hospital medical superintendent Dr Ramesh Kishore said, "We are giving anti rabies vaccine to 20 to 30 persons per day who arrive after suffering a dog bite. It should be better for the municipal urban health centres to take the responsibility of administering these vaccines as people with a dog bite have to travel a lot of distance to reach the government hospital incurring expenditure on transport and spending a lot of time. Moreover, we are facing a lot of burden to administer such a huge number of ARVs per month. Civic bodies would be having funds and it would be better for them to take up vaccination to dog bites at their centres."

Recently, a retired sub inspector, Janardhan Rao fell from his bike when two stray dogs approached him menacingly near Vambay Housing Colony. He remained bed-ridden after suffering fractured limbs. His little savings post-retirement had to be spent for getting medical treatment. Neither his medical insurance scheme nor NTR Arogya Seva failed to provide him the necessary medical aid.

There are several such incidents of elderly people, women and children suffering due to stray dogs. Stray cattle, too, can be seen sitting in the middle of roads and on medians of roads in groups disrupting vehicular traffic while pedestrians falter causing confusion among commuters resulting in some losing balance on their vehicles and falling down and suffering injuries.

Though the civic authorities have set up rehabilitation centre at Bobbilanka of Seetanagaram mandal, they have managed to shift only a few stray cattle while the menace still haunts commuters. Monkey menace remains unresolved as they enter houses and eat food items kept on the dining table or kitchens. At times, they even attack people if they try to shoo them away. It is not known whether they are rabid or normal.

The city once used to be free from stray pigs but now, one can find them everywhere moving in large number. The efforts of civic authorities to rehabilitate them at Konda Guntur near Satellite City yielded no good result.

Municipal health officer Dr M.V.R. Murthy said, "We are trying to tackle the stray dogs, cattle, monkey and pigs menace but we are getting no good support from people. Anyhow, we will solve especially the stray dogs and cattle issue just in a few days."

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