The increasing number of stray animals, including cattle, monkeys and dogs, in this town have become a nuisance for the local residents and the authorities as well.
While the common man is looking towards the administration to take some steps to tackle this menace, the latter is wary of initiating any population control measures to curb the growth of animals, especially cows and monkeys, due to religious sentiments associated with them.
A group of local councillors, including senior deputy mayor DN Saini, deputy mayor Bhim Mahajan and Pankaj Dewan, called on deputy commissioner (DC) Chander Shekhar Khare and urged him to ensure sterilisation of stray animals to put a check on their growing numbers in the town.
Though the DC acknowledged the problem, he turned down their request for sterilisation on religious grounds.
"DC sahib said that there are religious sentiments of people attached with certain animals. Therefore, ordering sterilisation could hurt their sentiments which could eventually lead to law and order problem," Bhim Mahajan, deputy mayor, Hisar, said.
Cattle, especially cows, are considered sacred in Hinduism and Jainism. Similarly, monkeys are associated with Lord Hanuman, who is one of the most worshipped figures among Hindus.
"We understand the sentiments of people and respect them too. However, we also have to see the inconvenience to people caused by these animals," the deputy mayor said.
OVER 1,500 STRAY CATTLE
More than 1,500 stray cattle wander on Hisar roads, causing frequent traffic jams in the town. We have lost seven human lives due to stray animals in the past one year," he said.
Mahajan said that the monkey trouble people a lot as they invade the private space in their homes and outside in the public parks.
In residential colonies like Sector 13 15, Sector 13, Pathrowali Gali, Katra Ram Leela and Rampura mohallah, people don't even allow their kids to go out to play due to the scare of monkeys.
"Our kids used to play in the evenings in a nearby park. But after some monkey attack incidents and with manifold increase in monkey population in our area, we prefer to keep our kids indoors," said Rakesh Saini, a resident of Sector 15.
Monkeys could be seen roaming along with their newborns on the walls, terraces, and even the sidewalks in the interiors of these colonies.
"On many occasions our clothes left to dry outside are also taken away by these monkeys who seem to have taken control of our lives," Sarita Gupta, a resident of Sector 13, said.
The locals complain that the authorities capture monkeya from one area and release them in another.
"Today they will capture monkeys from one area and dump them in another. Later when they get complaints from the other area, they will pick them from there and release them in yet anotherr area. The authorities, instead of finding a permanent solution, are just shifting monkeys from one area to another," Manoj Punia, a resident of sector 13, said,
Expressing his helplessness, DC Khare said the administration is waiting for allocation of land as promised by chief minister ML Khattar recently to construct a permanent shed for the stray cattle in Dhandoor village.
"I can assure you that once we get the land, we will immediately construct a permanent shed with all the facilities for animals," the DC said.
He also assured the visiting councillors that the officials concerned would be directed to ensure that monkeys are dropped in their natural habitat in far-off forest areas so that they would not return to disturb people in residential colonies.
To check the dog menace, Human Society International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has been roped in, which has started working with the department of animal husbandry on dog sterilisation programme in the district.
"The programme is in preparatory phase and will start from June 15. All the practical work will be carried forward by the NGO and we are there to provide our support. In Hisar district, the programme is carried under the monitoring of the deputy commisioner," deputy director, animal husbandry department said.