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Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC), meanwhile, continues to face allegations of turning a blind eye to the growing menace of stray cattle on streets, despite collecting over ₹31 crore in the form of cow cess from the public in the last five years.

With cave-ins, delays in repair, waterlogging and the evergreen problem of stray cattle persisting, commuters and city residents can hardly seem to be catching a break.

The city’s municipal corporation (MC), meanwhile, continues to face allegations of turning a blind eye to the growing menace of stray cattle on the road, despite collecting over ₹31 crore in the form of cow cess from the public in the last five years.

The areas surrounding the city’s two main dairy complexes— Haibowal dairy complex and Tajpur road dairy complex covering Hambran road, Tajpur road, Jalandhar Bypass, Haibowal road, Rahon road, Cheema Chowk, Jassian road, GT road and Chandigarh road, have turned particularly dangerous for commuters.

Stray bulls who form a major share of the stray cattle can be seen regularly locking horns with each other in the residential areas, creating fear among the residents.

“I was hit in the head by a bull while I was crossing a street, I kept bleeding for 15 minutes till I received medical help. The authorities should take action as menace poses grave danger especially to the children,” said Prem Chabbra, a resident of the Haibowal.

While the residents have been criticising the municipal authorities for their failure, the civic body put the blame on a shortage of space to shelter the stray cattle.

As per the authorities, over 1,500 stray cattle have been handed over to different gaushalas in and around the city and the civic body is paying for their upkeep. However, they added that even the gaushalas are nearing capacity at this point.

‘Need more shelters’

Echoing the sentiment, gaushala managing authorities highlighted the dire need to set up more shelters.

Purshottam Gautam, who manages the gaushala at Dandi Swami Mandir said, “We only have a capacity of sheltering 400 cows and there are several hundred cows roaming near Haibowal dairy complex alone, many of which have wounds and infections.”

Gautam added that cattle in the dairy units should be marked with the registration or unique identification number, so that the dairy owners can be traced on abandoning cattle that stop producing milk.

Unimpressed with the civic body’s reasoning, residents pressed for the MC to establish its own shelter with the money collected as cow cess.

Speaking on the issue, municipal health officer Gulshan Rai said the civic body was in talks with different gaushalas to shelter more stray cattle and was working towards establish another shed at government gaushala in Burj Powat village, Machhiwara, with a capacity to shelter around 150 animals. Another, with the same capacity, has already been set up on the site, he added.

Issue rocks MC House meeting

Notably, the issue of stray cattle menace had also rocked the recent General House meeting of the MC held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan on October 4.

The councillors and legislators objected to a resolution, wherein the management of a gaushala had sought more payment for upkeep of stray animals, demanding that the gaushala management first ensure that they will lift every stray cattle within a 5-km radius of the gaushala.

Lumpy skin disease

Dairy owners, meanwhile, have been busy raising concern over a large number of stray cattle affected with the lumpy skin disease.

“The lumpy skin disease was less severe in our dairy units as vaccination and timely medical treatment was provided to the cows while the stray cattle which got infected with the lumpy skin disease are not recovering because of lack of treatment and are dying slowly,” said Paramjit Singh bobby, president of the Haibowal Dairy Owners’ Association.

Source : The Hindustan Times Oct 9th 2022