Stray cattle continue to roam freely as Mohali MC remains paper tiger
Even though the Mohali municipal corporation (MC) collects ₹50 lakh cow cess every year yet it has completely failed to tackle the stray cattle menace in city.
Interestingly, the stray cattle continue to roam near municipal corporation office in Sector 68. Other affected areas include Phase 11, Industrial Area Phase 9, Airport Road, Sector 76 to 80 and Sector 82. Meanwhile, the authorities have shown helplessness in dealing with the menace.
Levied in 2016 by the BJP-SAD led state government, cow cess collected on sale of vehicles, liquor and consumption of electricity is to be utilised to tackle stray cattle menace. However, in Mohali, the civic body is only spending on the maintenance of gaushala that too ₹3 lakh per month. MC has one gaushala in Industrial Area, Phase 1, with a capacity of 700 animals and it is full now. Four years back, a proposal to construct a cattle pound was discussed, but nothing has been done so far.
Last year, the civic body caught only 200 stray animals. The councillors allege that the MC team only catches stray cattle and leaves the domestic one and no one comes forward to claim the stray cattle.
“We are helpless as these cattle belong to villagers.We cannot hold a drive in absence of police as previously, the owners thrashed our staff members. We have requested for police assistance but have not got any nod yet,” said mayor Kulwant Singh.
Increased fine but no use
Last year in August, the civic body even increased the fine from ₹5000 to ₹20,000 but it did not help the cause. Not even a single owner has been penalised so far. Also, the MC has just one truck and a three-membered staff to deal with the menace. There are an estimated 2,000 stray cattle in the town. In the past one year, four persons lost their lives in accidents involving stray cattle.
“The sad part is that MC is unable to check the menace near its own office in Sector 68,” said BJP’s Sector 68 councillor Bobby Kamboj. “The dairy farmers in Mohali should be held responsible as after milking the cattle, they leave them open to grase making it difficult for the residents, especially children and senior citizens to walk on the roads,” said Kamboj.