The SAS Nagar municipal corporation is now planning to put microchips implants in the stomachs of cattle to ascertain their ownership and keep track of their movement in the city. The move is an attempt to fight the stray cattle menace, which aggravates in SAS Nagar as residents rearing cattle for milk in villages like Mataur, Shahimajra and Jagatpura often leave the cattle to roam free so that they can graze and return home.
To check this practice, the MC has tied up with a non-government organisation (NGO), Gopal Gaushala Samiti, which has been entrusted with the job of inserting the microchips in the animals and keep record. Along with this, the NGO would be maintaining the gaushala (cow/cattle shelter) in Phase 1 and also carry out drives to catch stray cattle.
"The microchips will be read through a special scanner and we will then keep track to see who leaves these animal out for grazing in the city," said BD Singla, additional commissioner (technical), MC, SAS Nagar.
Estimates say SAS Nagar has about 400 animals that are being reared and left to roam free by the owners.
The menace - faced by Chandigarh and Panchkula too - has even led to deaths in the tricity as buffaloes in particular are hard to spot at night and two-wheeler riders collide with the animals even on streets that lack lighting.
In further plans, the MC would undertake a survey of the cattle owners and allocate land identified by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to them on the outskirts of the town.
Already, the construction of a modern gaushala at Phase 1 at a cost of Rs 1.2 crore is on. It would have a capacity of 500 cattle, and 80 have been shifted there. MC has already decided to impose a fine of Rs 1,500 for small animals and Rs 3,000 for big animals on owners of cattle impounded.
What the chip will do
*A microchip implant is an integrated circuit that would be placed in the body of the animal. The chip, the size of a large grain of rice, would be implanted with help of capsule made of a non-toxic inert metal.
*The capsule lodges or sticks in the stomach, or recticulum, so it doesn't get excreted. Each chip has a unique cattle identification or serial Number that carries all relevant details like data on age, breed, owner's name.
*Whenever a portable scanner or an electronic wand or a handheld reader is passed or waved near the cattle's stomach, it picks up a signal from the chip and displays all the details.