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For most residents of Nyati Highlands at Kondhwa, it is fear of being bitten by stray dogs that makes them walk home with sticks or stones in their hands.
People living in Baner-Pashan Link Road are also scared of stepping outside their homes.
It is this fear that led the residents of several societies to take the matter up with the civic authorities.
Swati Jog, a resident of Nyati Highlands, a society of bungalow plots, at Kondhwa, says that crossing the road has become difficult under the watchful eyes of stray dogs who often give them chase as they try to step on the road. During early morning hours, when children are packed off to school, several of these strays chase them, Jog complained. Women, who want to take their pet dogs for a walk, are left with no option but to drive all the way to Oxford Society at Wanowrie before they can let their dogs out on the roads.
Surabhi Runwal, a post-graduate student, staying at one of the hostels at JM Road also voiced her concern about the increasing number of dogs, particularly near garbage bins. "People simply avoid that area and take a longer route to reach the hostel," she said. Meanwhile, Prashant Patil recalls how one of his family members was chased at Baner by a pack of dogs when she was entering the society around 9 pm. Every night, Chinmay Kulkarni, a resident of Orange County at Pashan has to get up at 1.30 am to the sound of the howling of dogs. "Can't something be done about it," the financial consultant asked.
The sudden rise in the number of stray dogs across the city has even had the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) checking their data on the number of sterilizations done in the last year.
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