Even as the panchayati raj department has asked district and block-level officials to construct ‘gosadans’ (cowsheds) to house stray cattle before April 2015, the new stray cattle policy still awaits implementation on ground.
The Himachal Pradesh high court on October 7 directed the state government to make all roads free from stray cattle. In May, animal husbandry department also approved the new stray cattle policy, laying emphasis on strengthening ‘gosadans’, besides cattle registration and to rope in panchayats to implement the policy.
After five months, nothing concrete has been done. Director animal husbandry KS Pathania claimed that the department was making an outlining for its implementation.
Since the major part of policy was to strengthen the ‘gosadans’ to house stray cattle, rural development and panchayati raj department has to play pivotal role in its implementation.
Construction of the ‘gosadans’ was not an issue, but registration was a daunting task for panchayats as representatives need to be roped in the registration drive, said a panchayati raj official.
“After the court’s order, the construction of the ‘gosadans’ has started in some areas but registration is a tricky part and every public representative wants to skip his role,” he said, requesting anonymity.
As panchayati raj election was approaching, representatives do not want to spoil their terms with common people by penalising them for not registering cattle. “This is strange but harsh reality,” said a senior government official.
“Controlling the practice of abandoning cattle could be controlled by changing the mindset of people and there was a dire need of strict penalty for abandoning the cattle,” said additional chief secretary animal husbandry Deepak Sanan.
Rural development director Ajay Sharma said officials at the district and block level have been asked to start the construction of the ‘gosadans’.
“In this regard, zila parishad and panchayat samitis have been authorised to construct the ‘gosadans’, out of 13th Finance Commission Grant,” he added.