In a bid to address the growing concerns of stray dogs in the city, the District Health Authority (DHA) Rawalpindi, in collaboration with the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC), has launched a campaign to tackle the issue. As part of the initiative, 25 stray dogs were culled in the Pirwadhai and Dhoke Naju areas.
The campaign was initiated on the directives of Punjab Caretaker Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, Dr. Jamal Nasir, who emphasized the need to address the stray dog problem. Special teams were formed by the health authority to visit commercial and residential areas to eliminate the presence of stray dogs.
To facilitate the efforts, the RMC was tasked with conducting a survey to identify areas with high stray dog populations and clear them accordingly. Medicines have been procured and will be strategically placed in commercial and residential areas to effectively manage the issue.
Prior to the implementation of the 2002 local government system, the responsibility of addressing the stray dog problem fell under the jurisdiction of the RMC. However, with the introduction of the new system, no specific department assumed responsibility, leading to a lack of action and accountability.
Over the past month alone, more than 80 individuals have been injured in stray dog attacks. Residents have resorted to carrying bamboo sticks while going for morning and evening prayers due to the presence of a large number of stray dogs in areas such as Chaudhry Bostan Khan Road, Car Chowk, Dhoke Khabba, Dhoke Naju, Pirwadhai, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Committee Chowk, Muhallah Raja Sultan, Satellite Town, and Sadiqabad.
A senior official from the health department, who preferred to remain anonymous, revealed that while the campaign against stray dogs was supposed to be conducted annually, the health authority had been preoccupied with anti-dengue and anti-polio campaigns, causing the efforts against stray dogs to be sidelined.
The launch of the current campaign highlights the renewed focus on addressing the stray dog problem and improving the safety and well-being of the residents in Rawalpindi. The collaboration between the DHA and RMC signifies a coordinated effort to mitigate the issue and create a safer environment for the community.
As the campaign progresses, it is expected that the number of stray dogs in the identified areas will significantly reduce, ensuring a sense of security and relief among the residents. The continuous efforts of the health authorities and local government are crucial in effectively managing the stray dog population and preventing any further incidents.