From procuring fitness certificates for each head of stray cattle to providing immunisation to assigning staff to accompany the trucks it is an elaborate exercise to send the cattle out of the city. The Municipal Corporation started the drive to shift stray cattle from the city to cattle sheds outside on Saturday. While the first lot of 60 head of stray cattle has already been sent to Delhi,the next lot is ready to be sent.
A decision was taken to shift stray cattle out as the two cow sheds in Chandigarh were filled to capacity. The civic body has hired trucks to transport the cattle. Each truck can carry six animals. The cost of hiring each truck is between Rs 7,000 and Rs 7,500. Since 550 head of cattle have to be shifted in the first phase,91 trucks would be required. In addition,the MC is paying Rs 2,000 per head of cattle to those managing the cattle shed in Delhi.
Each head of stray cattle is being checked by a veterinarian to certify that it is fit for travelling. A fitness certificate is being issued before the cattle can board the truck. Also,immunisation of the cattle is being done.
To provide a smooth ride for the cattle,the floor is first strewn with sand and on that,a layer of cattle feed is spread. Apart from this,additional cattle feed is also carried. A total of 16 MC staff members accompanied the 10 trucks to Delhi. These included a Chief Sanitary Inspector and Sanitary Inspector. Each time that the trucks are sent,the staff would accompany the cattle.
Apart from 500 head of cattle being shifted to Delhi,another 50 would be sent to Garhshankar. Thereafter,any stray cattle that is left would be sent to a cattle shed in Barsana that the Mayor along with some councillors and officials recently visited.
The shifting of stray cattle is a sensitive issue with many arguments having been witnessed between the BJP and Congress. For those involved with the process,the most vital aspect is now to ensure that no head of cattle comes to any harm.
BJP councillor Arun Sood has alleged that the first lot of cattle was shifted out of the city under the cover of darkness. No one was informed about the shifting of cattle. There should have been a ceremony to flag off the trucks so that everyone was involved and we could see the conditions in which the cattle were sent. We feel that there is something wrong due to which the cattle had to be shifted in this manner, he said.
However,Mayor Subhash Chawla asserts that care is being taken to ensure that the shifting is done safely. In the coming days,the next lot of cattle would be sent to Delhi,he added.