From auctioning of stray cattle to leaving it in other states and even putting barricades at the entry points,the Municipal Corporation had made several piecemeal attempts at dealing with the stray cattle menace. None of the measures has,however,borne any fruit. As the problem once again stares the civic body in the face,it is still grappling with probable solutions.
The recent incident where trucks carrying stray cattle from Chandigarh were torched in Haryana has also put a question mark on the civic body’s latest measure to send cattle to cattle sheds outside the city.
Till 2003,the Municipal Corporation used to load stray cattle into trucks and leave it at Paonta Sahib. After an accident involving one such truck,the practice was stopped. Following the accident,an FIR was lodged against the MC officials. Subsequently,they were absolved of the charges. It was after this incident that a cattle pound was constructed.
Another problem that is encountered is that the cattle from the neighbouring towns also tends to enter into Chandigarh with no check at the boundaries. The civic body had for some time,with the help of police,installed barricades at the entry points to the city to ensure that stray cattle does not enter at night.
The Municipal Corporation had also been auctioning stray cattle. After capturing the cattle,time was given to the owners to get these released. If no one came forward then the cattle used to be auctioned. The practice was stopped after a truck carrying cattle was caught and it came to light that the cattle that was auctioned was being taken for slaughtering.
Leader of BJP in the House Arun Sood says that decisions are taken as a knee-jerk reaction whenever any incident occurs. “Piecemeal efforts are being made to get rid of the problem. Decisions are being taken without much consultation. That is why we have been raising the demand for holding a special meeting of the House so that a proper policy could be framed. This is not being allowed by the Mayor despite representations for the same having been made,” he said.
The civic body lacks space to keep stray cattle. Even if cattle catching drives are continued,space would be required to keep these. While the MC has decided to convert a plot of land in Industrial Area into a cattle pound,the facilities to be provided are being developed. The cattle that is caught would have to be sent out.
Municipal Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh had stated that there was no city that had been able to get rid of cattle completely. He had assured that the MC would plan out a strategy for the future.