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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Stray cattle menace: Mayor, MC commissioner summoned

The family of Ameer Singh, who was killed in a stray bull attack on Patiala-Devigarh road on July 17, had approached permanent lok adalat (public utility services) seeking compensation

cities Updated: Aug 30, 2019 23:28 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Navrajdeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
As many as five deaths caused by stray cattle have been reported in Patiala district in July and August this year.
As many as five deaths caused by stray cattle have been reported in Patiala district in July and August this year.(HT Photo)

Taking a serious note of the increase in number of causalities due to stray cattle roaming freely on highways, the local court has summoned Patiala mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu and municipal corporation (MC) commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira in one of the cases pertaining to compensating an aggrieved family.

The family of Ameer Singh, who was attacked by a stray bull on the Patiala-Devigarh road, had approached permanent lok adalat (public utility services), through their lawyer Sukhjinder Singh Anand, to seek compensation for their loss.

On July 17, Ameer Singh, 40, of Ishwar Nagar was attacked by a stray bull on Devigarh road. He was rushed to Government Rajindra Hospital, where he died while undergoing treatment.

Advocate Sukhjinder said that the application was moved on August 27, following which, the court, presided over by Jatinder Kaur, who is the president of permanent lok adalat, has summoned Patiala mayor and MC commissioner.

“Since there is no policy for compensation, we have filed an application in the name of Ameer’s wife Jinder Kaur, seeking compensation of ₹50 lakh from the Patiala civic body,” the lawyer said.

He added that the next hearing of the case is on October 31.

As many as five deaths have been reported due to stray cattle in July and August this year, in Patiala district. The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that stray cattle can be seen roaming freely on national and state highways across district, the highly populated interiors parts of the Patiala (urban) and other link roads.

The mayor said that the civic body will submit a reply in the court once he receives a written copy of the summoning order.

“The municipal corporation cannot do much about the issues related to stray cattle. A national policy is the need of the hour for dealing with the problem,” the mayor said.

He added that the civic body has limited resources and power to take adequate measures to tackle the menace.

He said, “We don’t have land to install tubewells for water supply, from where will we arrange the land and funds required for construction of more cowsheds?”

The MC commissioner said that he has roped in the municipal corporation’s legal team so that facts and documents related to the case can be looked into.

“The MC is extensively carrying out cattle-catching drive and has shifted them from roads to gaushala across district,” Khaira said.

No policy for compensation on cards

The bylaws related to registration, proper control of stray animals and compensation to the victims of animal attack is in limbo for past three years.

The policy was drafted in 2017, but it was hanging in fire since then.

As per the draft, the amount of compensation in case of death to the victim or legal heirs of the victim is ₹1 lakh, while in case of disability, it is proportionate to the percentage of disability caused as certified by civil surgeon.

First Published: Aug 30, 2019 23:26 IST

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