UT census puts stray cattle at 1,400 as MC runs out of space
According to the UT’s animal husbandry and fisheries department’s latest census, there are 1,400 stray and 22,000 domestic cattle in Chandigarh. But the city is finding it difficult to become stray-cattle free due to limited resources with the municipal corporation(MC).
Owing to the already packed shelters, the MC hardly catches more stray cattle even though the city’s southern sectors and peripheries are the worst hit.
Last year on August 14, a Mohali resident had died of head injury after being hit by a stray cow near Sector 47. The stray cattle related incidents have become the order of the day.
The MC tried to upgrade its infrastructure by imposing cow cess which could earn it nearly ₹20 crore and revenue was to be spent on managing the cattle in the city. But it could not levy the cess since UT referred the matter to ministry of home affairs for necessary adoption of legislation without which cess can’t be imposed.The process is not likely to complete any time soon, hampering MC’s plan to upgrade the cow shelter infrastructure, which is under heavy stress as revealed in the report of MC’s internal panel constituted last year.
As per the report, MC has three gaushalas in Sector 45, Maloya and Sector 25 and one cattle pound in Phase 1 of Industrial Area. However, all of them are crowded.For instance, the holding capacity of the cattle pound in Industrial Area is 400 and there are over 1,000 cattle in it .
The Sector-25 gaushala has been stuffed with over 400 cattle against the capacity of 150. The Sector-45 gaushala is feeding over 80 cattle against the capacity of 350. The situation in the Maloya gaushala is somewhat better, with 500 cattle against the capacity of 450. The panel recommended that there is a chunk of MC land, around 20 acres, in Raipur Kalan village that can be explored to set up new gaushalas.
Medical officer, health, Dr Amrit Warring who looks after the stray cattle wing, said, “The work on gaushala in Raipur Kalan is in process and will be completed within six to eight months.Once it is ready, we will be able to accommodate a 1,000 cattle.”
Fine hike: Notification awaited
The MC’s General House last year in September had approved the proposal to impose a hefty fine of ₹20,000 on the owners of cattle caught roaming in the town.The hike is more than six times as existing fine is ₹3,000, in case of stray cow and ₹4,000 in case of stray buffalo. However final notification of the hike is still awaited. The MC officials said that it is expected soon.