Stray animals such as dogs, cows and bulls have increasingly become a menace in the city as they are leading to frequent road accidents. The latest incident of a stray animal leading to an accident involved the deputy commissioner of Mansa.
On Sunday night, while traveling from Chandigarh to Mansa, the deputy commissioner met with an accident after his vehicle hit a buffalo near Bikhi town. Fortunately, he survived with minor injuries.
In spite of repeated complaints, the district administration and the local civic body have failed to come up with measures to counter the problem. The municipal corporation had announced many a time that it would curb the problem, but the authorities are yet to come up with a concrete plan.
On August 19, the Punjab and Haryana high court, while responding to a writ petition filed by Sameer Chhabra, gave the district administration four months to solve the problem of stray cattle.
"On December 20, the district administration crossed the four-month deadline given by the high court and nothing has been done in this regard and it is in a way contempt of the court," said Sameer Chhabra, who was injured when he was attacked by a stray buffalo.
To tackle the menace of stray cattle, the state government has directed all the 22 deputy commissioners across the state to lease 25 acres from panchayats for 33 years and establish cattle ponds.
"We could not get 25 acres of land at one place. In some villages, we were getting this much area but then the locals were dissuaded to do the same. Later, we got 15 acres of land in Khokhar Kalan village and the prinicipal secretary gave Mansa district a special exemption to carry out this project," said deputy commissioner Pravin Kumar Thind.
Stray animals roaming in the city amid poor visibility due to dense blankets of fog have become a frequent cause of accidents. According to commuters, many accidents have been caused on foggy days when animals on the road are not visible well in time.
Due to the lack of cattle shelters, the safety of these animals is also a matter of concern. Many times, after being hit by vehicles, these remain on the road with the civic authorities not taking appropriate steps to move them to veterinary hospitals, said Ram Krishan Chug, a member of the Environment Society.