Visakhapatnam: Public health and safety across the city faces a threat because of pigs and stray animals. The danger has been compounded with a shortage of shooters to eliminate pigs in the city. There were only two pig shooters working in Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) with there apparently being no takers for the job to rid the city of pig menace.
The GVMC has been receiving pig-related complaints from different zones, especially Madhurawada and Gajuwaka but the difficulty in finding any shooters makes it hard to address the problem. Vizag city has over 10,000 pigs because of which people have been facing health related problems. Madhurawada, Kommadi and some other areas in Vizag city have emerging the biggest residential colonies boasting of posh apartments. “The growing population of pigs in the areas has been proving a major challenge for health officials besides being an eye sore for all. Though we have complained to GVMC authorities to eliminate the pigs in PM Palem, Madhurawada and Kommadi region, our pleas have fallen on deaf ears as GVMC has done nothing so far,” said P. Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Madhurawada and an employee with a private firm.
N. Jayaram of GVMC’s public health wing said that the state government had passed an order in favour of eliminating pigs in the urban areas. “With only two shooters with GVMC, it is difficult and we are looking for more shooters to take up the task of eliminating the pigs,” he added. Sources said that local urban bodies generally appoint ex-servicemen to eliminate the pigs. The ex-servicemen, however, are not ready to take up the job citing that they sometimes face strong resistance from people who are breeding the pigs. Apart from a shortage of shooters, pig lifters (who pick up the dead animals) are not attending the duties properly. The shooters used to eliminate around eight pigs a day but the irregularity in clearing off the dead animals adds to the growing pig menace.
The GVMC plans to initiate a drive to identify people engaged in breeding the pigs with the intention of relocating them to other areas by allocating lands. GVMC is also chalking out plans to take police support to complaints against those preventing the shooting of these pigs.