Abandoned cattle causing accidents on Noida roads
Three cows and a 22-year-old man have died in two accidents in Noida in less than 10 days. While on Wednesday two cows died after a cab rammed into them on the Noida elevated road, on the evening of September 3, a 22-year-old motorist lost his life after his motorcycle collided with a cow sitting in the middle of the road in Sector 127. These incidents have brought to focus the cattle menace that is ensuing on the roads of Gautam Budh Nagar district.
While the police termed Wednesday’s incident on the Noida elevated road “a narrow escape” since no human injury was reported, it has raised an important question: how did the cows stray on to the fast-moving road without anyone noticing them?
Officials claim that the problem is more prominent at junction points of rural and urban areas across Gautam Budh Nagar. Places near villages such as Shahdra near Sector 137, Chaura, Harola, Barola, Mamura or Sarfabad bear the maximum brunt of this problem, officials said.
Cattle on roads not just lead to scattered incidents of mishaps; it also is a major contributor to traffic disruptions across the city. “There are traffic disturbances especially if cattle stray on to a main road. We are putting in efforts to manage the situation as well as possible. We often write to the authority when we feel that the situation is becoming too much for us to handle,” said Anil Kumar Jha, superintendent of police (traffic).
The traffic policemen also said that the problem is now visible not just on the city roads but also the expressways and even the Delhi-Noida-Direct flyway, where the traffic moves at very high speed. Stating that the problem has grown more rampant over the past one month, Vijay Rawal, project engineer, sanitation department, Noida authority, said: “The rains are a contributing factor as to why the cattle stray on roads. When water accumulates in the interior parts of rural areas, cattle owners feel that leaving the cattle on the city roads is a viable solution.”
He further said that the authority is working hard to manage the problem. “We regularly relocate stray cows to our cow shed in Sector 94. Since September 1, we have been working on this agenda more aggressively. Nearly 100 cows have been rescued by our teams so far. Two of our vans are patrolling the city streets on a daily basis to handle this crisis. We hope to reduce the cattle menace further in the next three-four days,” Rawal said.
Officials said they are working on an area-wise manner under the supervision of each of the five sanitary inspectors. However, officials said, they have been witnessing different kinds of problems. “On September 9, one of our supervisors was assaulted by the residents of Sector 62, who objected when our team was picking up the stray cows. We had to file an FIR as the supervisor sustained injuries in the incident,” Rawal said.
Locals allege that the reason they leave their cattle on roads is due to a lack of green cover in the city. “It is easier for them to find food if they roam the streets. They can munch on small plants on the streets. Otherwise, it gets difficult for us to feed them properly. It wasn’t a problem a few years ago, when there was farm land all around,” Dharam Lal Bhati, a dairy worker from Sarfabad, said.
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