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Holy cow! Stray cattle may land owners in jail

Get a licence from the MCD if you want to keep a cow at your home. And don’t let it wander away, reports Neelam Pandey.
Hindustan Times | By Neelam Pandey, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2009 11:57 PM IST

Union Railways Minister Lalu Prasad will definitely smile at this. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to allow Delhiities to keep cows at home.

But there are some tough riders — you will have to obtain a licence, you can't allow the animal to wander out on the road and you can keep only one "milking" animal at a time. If flouted, it can even land you in jail.

Under the new policy, owners will be let off thrice with a penalty ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 if their cattle are found on the streets. However, the fourth time, the owner will be put behind bars.

"Section 417 of the Delhi Municipal Council (DMC) Act will be amended under which we will restrict licences for a single animal. The rule applies to only urban areas of the city. The owner will have to make sure that the cattle don't roam around," said MCD Commissioner K.S. Mehra.

The MCD had tried all kinds of tricks to control the bovine menace. These include a reward of Rs 2,000 for catching a cow and sending it to MCD's cattle pounds and installation of micro-chips. The high court has also come down heavily on stray cattle roaming about on Delhi's streets.

"It will be mandatory to have a license. And you'll be able to keep only one animal. We will have routine checks and fine people who don't follow rules," said a senior MCD official.

MCD officials said with these provisions in place, they would be able to keep track of the cattle and their owners. Micro-chips will be installed to identify the animals.

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