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Over 26,000 Kashmiris were bitten by dogs in 2017: Govt

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Jammu, Jan 15: Srinagar has emerged as the dog capital of the state as the number of dog-bites reported in 2017 were the highest from state’s first city, information revealed by the state government in the state legislature said.
Srinagar alone reported 9514 dog bites to the hospitals in 2017. Kashmir had registered a staggering 26923 dog bites last year, the details revealed. These cases reported either to the anti-rabies clinic of the SMHS hospital or to the vast network of hospitals that Directorate of Health Services operates in the periphery of the state.
SMHS hospital alone reported 6825 dog reported cases in 2017, the highest in the month of August when 734 cases came to the hospital.
Apart from Srinagar, 314 cases from Bandipore, 409 from Budgam, 288 from Baramulla, 116 from Kupwara, 154 from Ganderbal, 205 from Pulwama, 74 from Kulgam, 73 from Shopian, 81 from Islamabad and 61 from other areas reported to the SMHS hospital in 2017, the details tabled in the House said.
But the real rush of the dog bite cases was to the peripheral hospitals. Directorate of Health Services said its hospitals managed a load of 20098 dog bite cases in the first 11 months of 2017, ending November. Agains, Srinagar topped the list by sending 4454 dog bite cases to the hospitals.
Baramulla topped the list as the district sent 3220 cases, Budgam reported 2762 cases, Islamabad reported 2492 cases, Bandipore sent 742 cases, Ganderbal reported 1119 cases, Kargil 11 cases, Kulgam 1839 cases, Kupwara had 256 cases, Lee 797 cases, Pulwama 1936 cases, as Shopian reported 470 cases.
The information was revealed by the state government in a question raised by NC lawmaker Ali Mohammad Sagar.
“It is an established fact that multiplication rate of dogs is quite high but their survival rate mainly depends on the availability of the food,” the government explained in the response. “If the food is available in abundance, the multiplication and survival rate will be higher, if the availability of food waste is curtailed this will have a bearing on the life span and proliferation rate of stray dogs.”
The response said that Srinagar Municipal Corporation has been constantly focussing on minimising the availability of energy rich food, offal, exclusive non veg garbage generated from house hold poultry outlets, butcher shops, slaughtering places and large quantitates of wasted and left over food from marriage ceremonies, from hotels and restaurants across the city and coupes with Animal Birth Control and anti-rabies programme ABC-AR programme with encouraging results.
The response claimed that the cases reported to the SMHS hospital have witnessed a decline over the years.
Meanwhile, the government said 30,711 dog bite cases have been reported in Srinagar during the last six years.
Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Asiea Naqash told the Legislative Council that 30,711 dog bite cases were registered at an anti-rabies clinic at the SMHC hospital in Srinagar from 2012-13 to 2017-18 up to September.
She was replying to the call attention motion of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLC Zafar Iqbal Manhas.
Of these 7,000 cases were registered in 2012-13, followed by 6,041 cases in 2013-14, 4,917 cases in 2014-15, 5,100 cases in 2015-16, 5,120 cases in 2016-17 and 2,533 cases in 2017-18 up to September, Naqash said.
She said the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has been working to tackle the situation.
Due to implementation of various strategies, stray bite cases as per the available reports at the hospital over the last few years revealed that there has been around 30 per cent decline in the number of dog bites from 7,000 in 2012-13 to 5,120 in 2016-17, the minister said.


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Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.

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UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.

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Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.

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