Curbing the city’s cattle menace is proving to be a very costly affair for the SAS Nagar Municipal Corporation. The civic body has spent Rs 30 lakh in the past one year only on feeding stray cattle seized by them. As opposed to this, the corporation has managed to earn a meager Rs 2.5 lakh asfine for releasing captured cattle.
The civic body currently pays Rs 27 per bovine to a private company to manage cattle in captivity.
To add the civic body’s woes, the municipal corporation does not have the space to keep stray cattle. The city’s lone cow shed is already overflowing: while it has a capacity of 650, it currently houses 800 bovines. Moreover, a recent survey has stated that 2,500 stray bovines are still at large.
“Though MC is building a new shed where 250 more stray cattle can be accommodated, the space may not be enough. We are in talks with deputy commissioner’s office for space to build a bigger shed,” said SAS Nagar municipal commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta.
The civic body said upkeep of stray cattle is eating into its pocket. An official handling the issue states, “We are struggling to curb the menace. When we had started, there were just 900 stray bovines. However, now there are 2,500. The number has increased many folds and without public participation, the menace cannot be controlled.”
With owners usually allowing their livestock to stray at night or in secluded areas, officials find it difficult to trace them back to their owners. As a result, only 137 livestock-owners were penalised last year for letting their cattle run wild.