PMC goofs up on dog bite figures
In a haste to highlight their efforts of containing dogs biting people in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) committed a howler by revealing that stray dogs in the city bit only two people in the September.
According to a monthly communicable disease report sent to the media, there was a drastic reduction in dog bite cases in city from July onwards. PMC officials also claimed that employing three NGOs to sterilise dogs had made the difference, and this had resulted in dogs biting fewer people.
The report was sent to media persons ten days back, which also stated that cases had dropped considerably in the last few months. According to the report, 200 cases were reported in August, two in September and none in October. The report also stated that on an average, 1,100 dog bite cases were reported each month from January to July.
But soon after civic body officials sent a reworked report stating that the earlier report was incorrect, and that 1,229 dog bite cases were reported in
September. “PMC health officials are irresponsible and often only pretend that they are working. False numbers are often given out, which mislead the people of the city. Wrong information not only hides the facts from people, but also affects society as a result.
On an average, we get a call to report a dog bite every day in my ward. Then how can they claim that there has been a decrease in the numbers of bite cases,” said Shrinath Bhimale, corporator, PMC. The corporator also claims that the PMC is facing a manpower crunch and suffering from zero implementation.
Corporator Rupali Patil said, “PMC needs to take firm steps regarding various problems in the city and the dog menace is a major issue. Many dog bite cases are witnessed each day.” Commenting on the varying numbers of dog bite cases, Bhimale said, “PMC often states wrong figures to save face, and these numbers can be misleading.”
The other side
Anjali Sabne, deputy health officer, PMC, said, “These contradictory figures may be because of the addition of one more organisation for dog sterilisation. Sterilisation reduces aggressiveness in animals, thereby lowering the desire to bite.”