‘Over 2,000 cattle dead at cow shelter,’ says Bikaner mayor citing negligence
More than 2,000 cattle died at a government cow shelter in Rajasthan’s Bikaner in the last five months, states a letter by Mayor Sushila Kanwar which HT has accessed. Kanwar has alleged that the municipal commissioner was not paying attention to the crisis in the shelter at Sarah Nathaniya, situated at the outskirts of the city.
Stray cattle are kept in the shelter for which Bikaner Municipal Corporation (BMC) pays Rs 50 a day per cattle to Sohanlalji Buladeviji Ojha Goshala Samiti governed by a Chennai-based businessman.
The society signed an MoU with the civic body through which the BMC agreed to pay Rs 5 crore as interest-free loan to develop 148 acres into a cow shelter and to create the infrastructure and maintain the shelter. The BMC had paid Rs 2.5 crore till date.
This loan was repaid by the society as a donation in 48 equal instalments of Rs 10.5 lakh per month from the monthly grant given to the society for taking care of the animals.
According to the information from the civic body, more than 500 cattle died in March, another 500 in April. Documents showed that 262 bovines died in January, 396 in February, 594 in March, 543 in April and 387 in May. The mayor wrote to the BMC commissioner on April 29 citing poor maintenance of the shelter leading to large-scale deaths. HT has an access to this letter.
President of Sohanlalji Buladeviji Ojha Goshala Samiti, Anil Kumar Ojha, said the municipal corporation did not provide doctors and staff to the shelter.
“Vets and medical staff are needed for the treatment of stray cattle brought into the shelter because most of them are already sick. They require immediate medical attention,” he said.
Bikaner district collector Kumar Pal Gautam said only the civic body could answer queries related to the cow shelter. BMC commissioner Kushal Yaday did not respond to calls made for his response.
People in Rajasthan abandon their cattle when the animals become unproductive. Such cattle stray on the streets and are often slaughtered.