The campaign conducted by Hindustan Times against the stray cattle menace and issues raised by CPS (Health) Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, seems to have jolted the Amritsar municipal corporation out of deep slumber, as the civic authorities have issued strict instructions to their staff in this regard, failing which they have warned of initiating strict action against them.
Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora and municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal held a meeting with CPS Dr Sidhu and a few councillors as well as MC health officials on Monday and issued strict instructions to the health officials to catch the cattle roaming on the streets.
Meanwhile, the MC has also urged its councillors not to intervene when their staff catch the strays and take them into custody, to get them released, as is often reported. According to the mayor, the owners of the impounded cattle approach the municipal councillors, who in turn intervene and get the cattle released.
“Our phones start ringing when a stray cow or bull is caught as municipal councillors often intervene to get the animal released. The councillors have been urged not to intervene in this regard,” he added.
HT had run a series on the gravity of the problem in Amritsar and surrounding districts and the absence of cattle pound and administrative nonchalance that further aggravates the problem.
Arora said this issue was one of the many civic problems raised by CPS Sidhu among others, which included issues pertaining to sewerage, sanitation and roads, which were also discussed in the meeting. Arora, however, said while it was prevalent all across the city, the cattle menace was quite serious inside the walled city area.
He attributed it to the presence of a few dairies inside the city. “While the dairies were relocated to the outskirts of the city almost a decade ago, a few still continue to thrive within the precincts. The health officials have been asked to identify these as well so that they can be shifted out,” said the mayor.
He, however, said the unmanned herds let loose by the farmers to graze in the city’s green spaces were the ones that largely contributed to the stray cattle menace affecting the city, besides the abandoned cattle.