Owners not turning up to claim caught cattle, Mohali MC slashes fine from ₹20,000 to ₹5,000
Failing to collect ₹20,000 from even a single owner for cattle menace in the city in the past one year, the Mohali municipal corporation on Tuesday slashed the fine to ₹5,000.
The issue was debated in detail during the House meeting on Tuesday. The fine was hiked to ₹20,000 in August last year. Around 200 cattle found roaming on the city roads have been caught since then.
Mayor Kulwant Singh said: “We noticed that after we catch the cattle, people didn’t come forward to claim them because of the hefty amount. So we decided to slash the fine.”
On poor implementation of the drive, he said: “We are helpless as these cattle belong to villagers. We cannot hold a drive in absence of police force, as in the past, cattle owners have beaten up our staff members. We have requested for police force, but have not got any nod yet.”
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Bobby Kamboj said: “It is sad that the MC has failed to check the menace even near its office in Sector 68. Every evening, herds of cattle can be seen in the area.”
Every year, the civic body collects ₹50 lakh in cow cess, but has failed to tackle stray cattle menace. There are an estimated 2,000 stray cattle in the town. The worst affected areas, where both stray and domestic cattle can be seen roaming freely, are Phases 9 and 11, Sectors 76 to 80 and 82, Industrial Area and Airport Road.
Harpal Channa, another councillor, said: “Officials are not serious in their work. Instead of catching the animals, they just make them run away. Most nuisance is caused by dairy farmers. After milking their cattle, they let them loose to graze in the open. It has made it difficult for residents, especially children and senior citizens, to walk on the roads.”
The MC has one gaushala in the Industrial Area, Phase 1, with the capacity to hold 700 animals. It is full to capacity. The proposal to set up a cattle pound has been hanging fire for four years.
Meanwhile, at least four people have lost their lives in accidents involving stray cattle in the past one year.