"We can't walk in peace. Most of us carry a stick along when we go out in the evening," says Krishnappa, who is the director of Taluk Agriculture Producing Cooperative Society and a resident of Gundur, a village in the outskirts of Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) used about 800 acres of land near gundur, in an area called mandur, to dump city waste till December 2014 for three years.
Due to large-scale dumping, Gundur and areas adjoining the dump yard have been facing a serious dog menace for over four years now.
Some of these dogs mauled a woman to death on Wednesday.
"On Wednesday evening, a 45-year-old cattle rearer of Yadav caste, Rathnamma, who was taking her cows for grazing about half a kilometer from her house in Gundur, was attacked by 10 to 11 dogs which came from the dump yard area," said Govindaraju, assistant sub-inspector Avalahalli police station, Bengaluru, where Rathnamma's death was reported.
"They came chasing the cows initially. Excited cows started running haywire and Rathnamma had to catch up with them. The rope with which she held the cows with got tangled around a mango tree after which the cow fell on her.That is when dogs attacked her and she died on spot," said Govindaraju.
The dumping area became a breeding place for dogs. "Until about last year there were around 10,000 dogs around the dump yard. But now the number has come down to 1000, which is still a large number," he claimed.
"We have filed many complaints of dog menace with the health department and environment department of BBMP. We have been telling them for the last 3 to 4 years to have a separate team to look into dog menace, but our complaints are falling into deaf ears," said Krishnappa.
The problem is that these dogs, which used to feed on waste matter in the dump yard, are now attacking animals and humans because there is no dumping going on anymore, Krishnappa said.
They eat up the poultry animals in the village and also attack people. However, Rathnamma's case is the first case of death, he added.
Speaking to The News Minute, Joint Commissioner(Animal Husbandry)of BBMP, Nanjappa said, "There has been a huge influx of dogs from nearby villages to the dumping area. When there is enough food it is a tendency for dogs to live there. But as human being we have to be inclusive and tolerant towards animals. They can't demand us to clear all the dogs ."
Nanjappa, however claims that BBMP has been attending to the dog menace problem in the city.The dogs are neutered and left in the area where they were initially picked up from.
"BBMP is doing their job to check dog menace in the Gundur- Mandur area. We are in tie-up with CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) who are doing Animal Birth Control and Rabid Dog(ABCRD) programme for the last one year. Every week CUPA neuters 60-80 dogs in the area," he said.