Four months after the deputy commissioner (DC) directed the local municipal corporation (MC) to catch stray cattle, the civic body is sitting on its hands.
No wonder, since the MC has just one truck and a staff of six to deal with the stray cattle menace. In a meeting held in May, DC Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, admitting that road accidents were increasing in SAS Nagar due to stray animals, directed MC officials to start a drive to catch stray cattle.
He also stated that strict action should be taken against owners of animals that were actually domesticated but were let loose to graze on the roadside and parks. There was also talk of heavy fines, but after four months the ground reality remains unchanged.
There are an estimated 2,000 stray cattle in the town. Residents have complained often, but MC officials have not dealt with the problem seriously. Accidents involving stray cattle — which are almost invisible on poorly lit roads at night — often go unreported, thus allowing the MC to take it easy.
Ravi Kumar, sanitary inspector, MC, told HT, “We have only one vehicle and six men to catch stray cattle, but we are doing our best.”
However, he could not give a figure on how many had been caught. “We have one gaushala, which is full with 368 stray animals. Another gaushala is ready and will start in day or two,” he added.
When contacted, DC Sidhu said, “I will again hold a meeting with the MC officials. We are planning to send stray cattle to various gaushalas in Punjab. The cattle pound in Industrial Area-1 will be completed soon.”
Terming the MC “a helpless organisation”, AS Shyan, chief patron of the Citizen Welfare and Development Forum, SAS Nagar, said, “The situation has only gone from bad to worse.”