The lack of adequate space to keep stray cattle is likely to affect the cattle catching drive of the Municipal Corporation. The recent incident where trucks carrying cattle were torched has put a cloud over the decision to send cattle out. The civic body does not have enough space or facilities to catch and then keep the cattle.
The city has a cattle pound in Industrial Area,Phase I,and cattle sheds at Maloya and Sector 45. These have a capacity of holding 150,400 and 350 head of cattle respectively. The cattle pound is already full to more than double its capacity. The officials are facing a tough task in upkeep of the cattle that is present and additional staff has been hired for the purpose. As per the current estimates,there are around 2,000 head of cattle still in the city.
As many as 195 head of cattle from the two cattle sheds were to be shifted to Barsana. These had been loaded into the trucks that were torched in Haryana. Another 91 have been returned to the owners who had permission to keep cattle. However,the number of stray cattle in the city is much more than the capacity available. The MC had taken a decision to send cattle out as all the present facilities were overburdened.
Joint Secretary (Municipal Corporation) Rajiv Gupta says,With some cattle head being shifted out from Maloya and Sector 45,we have some space available. Another cattle pound is being constructed in Industrial Area which is likely to be completed in the next few days. The drive is temporarily suspended as the cattle catching staff is being called for investigations in the incident where the trucks were burnt.
The Municipal Corporation had decided to send stray cattle to Barsana after the cattle pounds in nearby areas refused to accept cattle or were demanding a high price for the same. The MC had initially paid Rs 2,000 per cattle head to cattle pounds in Delhi for accepting these.
The cattle pound at Garhshanker reportedly demanded Rs 6,000 per stray cattle as well as fixed charges till the time the cattle was alive. This was found to be too high.
With lack of a clear-cut policy on what is to be done with the stray cattle now,the MC is back to square one. It was the death of three persons caused due to stray cattle that had led to the MC undertaking special cattle catching drives. However,like the measures adopted by the MC in dealing with stray cattle in the past,this too seems to be fizzling out.