Even as the state government has announced to provide animal fodder at a subsidised rate of Rs 2 per kg to gaushalas and animal shelters owing to drought-like conditions in the state, the Banaskantha district collector has issued a fiat banning letting loose of the cattle on the streets with immediate effect. Banaskantha district collector Sandip J Sagle has also threatened to initiate action under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 135 of the Gujarat Police Act that entails simple arrest running from one to six months and a fine of Rs 1,000 or both.
The order was issued on Saturday after owners of some cattle shelters in Deesa taluka of the district set their cows and other cattle free in front of the government offices and on main roads, resulting into traffic problems and increasing the chances of accidents. The animal shelter owners had resorted to it as a means of protest against the state government not giving them financial assistance for procurement of fodder when fodder prices have gone up after the onset of summer and scarcity of water. While defending the ban order, the collector said in his circular that the action has been taken to maintain law and order. The ban, according to the order, will remain in force till May 10 this year.
The collector has authorised the district superintendent of police as also police sub-inspector and in-charges of all police stations to initiate action against all those who violate the ban.
He has also asked the district information department to publicise the ban through public address system in villages and by pasting its copies at important public places in the district.
Meanwhile, State Revenue Minister Kaushikbhai Patel said that the state government was committed to provide fodder at Rs 2 per kg to all gaushalas and cattle shelters in the state and supply water to ensure that cows and other cattle did not face any problem. He said that the state government had made arrangements of one lakh kg of fodder for Banaskantha district which is facing the most severe problem during the summer season. There are more than 250 gaushalas and animal shelters run by trusts across the state.