UP needs land equivalent to 17K football fields for stray cattle
Land equivalent to 17,200 football fields would be required to accommodate all the abandoned cattle roaming on the streets of UP. But if it comes to keeping the entire animal stock in shelters, the state government would require land equal to 1.1 lakh football fields, as per an estimate by civic officials.lucknow Updated: Jan 10, 2019 11:14 IST
Land equivalent to 17,200 football fields would be required to accommodate all the abandoned cattle roaming on the streets of UP. But if it comes to keeping the entire animal stock in shelters, the state government would require land equal to 1.1 lakh football fields, as per an estimate by civic officials.
It is pertinent to mention here that the state government has proposed 2% cow welfare cess on excise items, mandi parishad and profitable corporations for the construction of temporary cow sheds (gaushalas) in all villages, panchayats, municipalities, nagar panchayats and municipal corporations.
- UP chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey has directed district magistrates of each district to form a task force with the help of village level employees of rural development, revenue, police, panchayati raj, animal husbandry departments and active participation of each gram pradhan to develop temporary cow shelter sites for destitute animals.
- He also said that in no case destitute cattle should be found roaming around in the cities and responsibility of the DMs will be fixed, if necessary arrangements for such animals are not ensured timely.
- “Vaccination and proper medical arrangements should be ensured to protect the animals from diseases,” he added.
- He asked officials to blacklist those executive bodies which fail to complete the construction of temporary cattle site in a prescribed time period.
- “Commissioners at division level, DMs at district level, SDMs at block and tehsil level should ensure timely arrangements for the maintenance of destitute animals. In no case the dependent animals should be left destitute by owners. If this is found, stern action would be taken against such people,” added Pandey.
- Principal secretary (rural development and panchayati raj) Anurag Srivastava; principal secretary (animal husbandry) Sudhir M Bobde; principal secretary (revenue) Suresh Chandra and other senior officers of the departments concerned were present during the meeting.
As per plan, a cowshed with a capacity of minimum 1,000 animals will be built in every district (both urban and rural areas). All municipalities and district administration authorities have been directed to catch stray animals and put them into these shelter homes.
Following the order, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) has caught 923 stray cows during the past one week.
Dr Arvind Rao, chief veterinary officer, LMC, said a cow requires a minimum of 300 sq ft area for living and movement. “If we want to accommodate all the stray cattle, then huge amount of land would be required for purpose.
According to UP government stray cattle census of 2012, the state has around 1.46 crore cows and 49.07 lakh bulls. In all, there are 1.95 crore ‘Gauvansh’ cattle in the state.
If one goes by 300 sq feet minimum requirement of land for one cattle, then around 585 crore sq ft area would be required for proper upkeep of all the cattle in UP. This means, land equal to around 1.1 lakh football fields would be required to keep these many cattle in the state.
But the state government needs land only for the abandoned cattle roaming on the roads, said officials of the animal husbandry department.
According to state government records, 58.82 lakh cows are lactating animals, 21.45 lakh cows are between 1 and 3 years of age while 34.35 lakh cows are less than 1 year of age. All these cows are taken care of by their owners.
Around 23.71 lakh cows are non-lactating and abandoned by their owners while 8.1 lakh are useless on road (not wanted by anyone). If non-milking abandoned cows are added to this, the number comes to 31.18 lakh.
For these 31.18 lakh cows of the state (not wanted by anyone), 9.55 crore sq feet area would be required for their survival, which comes to land equivalent to 16,595 football fields. If one adds around 1.2 lakh abandoned bulls on road, land equal to 628 football fields would also be required in the state, according to an estimate.
In Lucknow alone, 8,500 cows are packed inside Kanha Upvan, while a similar number of cattle are roaming on the streets, claim LMC officials. Only 900 of them have been caught in the last one week after the orders of keeping them in Gau Ashraya Kendras.
“Our teams are working day and night to catch stray cattle. We have to catch around 8,000 more once we make enough space for them to survive. We cannot keep the animals in an overcrowded space. This can harm the animals. LMC is committed for the safety of animals and that’s why we have marked 65 acres land for keeping strays next to Kanha Upvan,” said Rao.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 11:14 IST