MC finally gets its own cattle-lifting van

Harshraj Singh
Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, April 1

To shift stray cattle from the city roads, the Municipal Corporation has purchased its own vehicle.A large number of stray cattle are seen wandering on roads, due to which chances of mishaps remain high.

In the House meeting for MC’s annual Budget recently, some councillors raised the issue of stray cattle moving on the city roads and demanded from the authorities to speed up the process to shift stray cattle to cow shelters or gaushalas at the earliest as several fatal accidents have occurred in the past.

MC’s senior veterinary officer Dr YP Singh said: “The MC has purchased a cattle-lifting van. The documents of vehicles are being prepared. The estimated cost of the vehicle is around Rs22-23 lakh. It has been stationed at the MC’s workshop. Once the documentation process gets complete, it would be used for shifting stray cattle to gaushalas on a regular basis. At one time, 4-5 cattle can be shifted through this vehicle.

”Singh said they have collected around Rs3 crore cow cess in the last one year. Of the collected cess, Rs1.5 crore was paid to Govind Gaudham for providing shelter and care to stray cows, he said.

“We are planning to sign an agreement with new gaushalas for shifting the stray cattle,” he said, adding that: “The stray cattle moving on city roads are not only causing obstructions in the smooth flow of traffic, but also inviting fatal mishaps. The civic body should ensure shifting of stray cattle in an effective manner. They should also make arrangement to provide treatment to the injured cows and bulls,” said Gagandeep Singh Ahluwalia of Dhandran Road.

Sources said around 1,500 stray cattle are moving in different parts of city. These can also be witnessed at uncovered garbage dumps located on roadsides. According to road safety activists, 5-7 per cent road mishaps in the state occur due to stray cattle menace

.…meanwhile, no end to stray cattle menace in the district

Charanjit Kaur, a resident of Urban Estate, Chandigarh Road, was recently hit by a stray bull that was wandering about in the area. The woman fell on her back. As a result, she fractured her hip-joint.  This is one of the several such incidents that are taking place and going unreported due to the endless menace of stray cattle, romping around, in the district.  Not only are these cattle dangerous because these can get enraged any time, harming anyone coming in their way, but also because the cattle are also becoming a major cause of road accidents, as these emerge all of a sudden in the middle of the road.  According to information, as many as 71 persons have lost their lives due to accidents caused by stray animals and 45 persons were seriously injured in 2015. The figure went up in 2016 causing 102 deaths in road accidents due to stray animals while 57 persons were injured.  “I had a narrow escape, when a dark bull was sitting on the road in the middle of the night. I spotted it sitting and managed to stop my bike a few inches away from the bull. Else, it would have been a terrible accident,” Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Chandigarh Road said.  Sector 32 resident Gyanpreet Singh said several stray cattle, mostly abandoned bulls, are seen rummaging through the garbage dumped behind Vardhaman Group’s factory on Chandigarh Road. “There is an inordinate amount of garbage comprising plastic waste that is dumped at the site and you see stray cattle here almost throughout the day,” he said. “After that, these cattle keep moving around in the area. The administration and municipal authorities must find a solution to this rising problem of stray animals,” he said. Even though the government has been charging cow cess, it has failed to shift the cattle to gaushalas or set up cow sheds.  Pertinently in 2016, the district administration had called a special team from Patiala to catch stray animals, but stray animals including stray cattle continue to cause problems even today. Navdeep Asija, Traffic Advisor, Punjab, said: “Stray cattle is a problem and has been causing accidents. An advisory has been issued to different departments including the district administration, municipal bodies, rural development including removal of vegetative growth from urban areas such as empty plots, where these cattle frequent for grazing. The Landscaping Department would plant species that stray animals do not eat.” Asija said data was being compiled and the number of accidents due to stray cattle for 2017 is expected to go down after the measures taken by the government, he said.  — Gurvinder Singh

Date: 2 April 2018