Agra battles stray dogs

Agra, Jan 22 (IANS) After battling bovine and simian threats to tourists, authorities in the Taj Mahal city have declared war on stray dogs.

Dogs have bitten many tourists not only around the Taj Mahal, India’s biggest tourist draw, but also in the nearby Fatehpur Sikri complex.
“The stray dogs take leisurely stroll inside the Taj Mahal scaring away tourists. The CISF personnel do not seem bothered by their presence,” said Taj Ganj hotelier Sandip Arora.
Last year a bull on a rampage at the Eastern Gate of the Taj had to be shot dead by a police officer after it attacked tourists.
At Fatehpur Sikri, a female American tourist was bitten by a dog and was forced to cut short her visit to Agra.
Waking up to the public outcry, the Agra Nagar Nigam has now sent out its team to round up stray animals in the Taj Ganj area.
Rajiv Rathi, pollution control officer of the Municipal Corp, said: “Four stray dogs had been caught Saturday from the Taj Mahal area. More will be rounded up in the next few days.”
Corporation veterinarian B.S. Verma said the dogs would be kept at a shelter house.
But the Municipal corporation has failed to contain the monkey menace.
“Every few days there is a case of monkey bite. With thousands of monkeys in the city, it is a problem beyond the control of any municipal body,” says activist Shravan Kumar Singh.