BHOPAL: Altogether 125 stray cattle were impounded by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday on the first day of Madhya Pradesh government’s drive to curb stray cattle menace on streets of the capital. The pilot project, if successful, would be implemented across the state.
BMC additional commissioner Ranveer Singh, the nodal officer for implementation of the ambitious drive, said: “The impounded cattle would not be released and this has been made clear to cattle owners. We have a two-pronged strategy. In the first phase, we will remove stray cattle from main roads and in the second we will shift diaries outside the city.” There are around 900 dairies in Bhopal. In 2016, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed the BMC to shift the diaries outside the city.
The first day of the drive was led by two teams. Divided into north and south zone, two teams were led by deputy commissioner responsible for north zone Sudhir Singh and deputy commissioner Vinod Shukla for the south. The BMC drive to capture stray animals began early in the morning and lasted till late in the evening. The teams impounded cattle from Nehru Nagar, Ishwar Nagar, Dana Pani, 74 Bungalows and nearby places. The 125 cattle are now housed in Kanji house and gaushala at Anna Nagar, Nabi Nagar (Karond) and BHEL. They would be relocated outside the city on Thursday, said, Singh.
Each of the four BMC cattle capture vehicles had 7 members. “A complete action plan has been prepared to capture the stray cattle and the responsibility of officials has been fixed,” said Singh. A day ahead of the drive, BMC had issued a directive to all AHOs in each of the 19 zones to mark places where stray cattle roam freely.
Going by estimates from the department of animal husbandry, there are around 8,000 stray cattle in Bhopal. “BMC does not concur with the estimates. We will know the exact number after the end of the drive,” said Singh. Earlier on Tuesday, BMC commissioner B Vijay Datta and Bhopal collector Sudam Khade held a meeting with dairy owners and urged them to shift the dairies to a new location, said an official.
Meanwhile, BMC additional commissioner confirmed there was strong resentment over the drive in Ishwar Nagar locality. A drive to clear off the diary owners would be initiated on Thursday, he said.
The state cabinet had a couple of years ago decided to shift dairies operating within the municipal limits of state capital to the outskirts. However, the order could not be implemented and stray cattle and dogs have become a major menace in residential colonies.
After stiff opposition from animal rights activists, the BMC too went cold on picking up cattle roaming on the roads.