Facing flak over the beef ban, the Maharashtra government on Monday said it was equipped to take care of old cows and buffaloes under the Gokul Gram Yojana.
The scheme envisages constructing animal shelters, collaborating with NGOs, providing food for animals and using cow dung and urine for commercial purposes.
Addressing the members of the state legislative Council, revenue minister Eknath Khadse said the Central government was supporting the scheme and had even released preliminary grants for it.
“We plan to have one shelter for every 1,000 cattle. We will also provide NGOs with land at nominal rates to construct shelters,” said Khadse. “We have received a preliminary grant of Rs16.93 crore for a shelter at Aarey Colony,” he said, adding that they have received approval for ones at Amravati and Pune.
However, critics are not convinced that the scheme will work and called it a drain on the state exchequer. “They [the government] have to create new infrastructure, which will cost a lot. It will be an additional burden on the state exchequer, which is already under debt,” said All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen legislator Waaris Pathan.