The problem of stray cattle and dogs in the city and the state, is not a new one. As many as 2,839 cases related to stray animal menace were reported in the city in the first seven months of 2019, in contrast with 2,819 cases registered in the entire year in 2018.
The city’s civil hospital records at least 15 patients of dog bite every day. DCP Panchkula Kamaldeep Goyal also joined the list of the aggrieved on July 3, when he suffered a ligament tear in his knee while trying to save himself from a stray dog’s attack. Following the incident, DCP Goyal had to go under the knife and take leave from work for a month.
He says, “This problem is affecting the day-to-day life of the residents of Panchkula. People are wary of going out in early mornings or even in the evenings. Whenever I go out on foot, my mind is always racing with questions if I would encounter another attack. It might seem like a light problem to those who have not been its victim, but its a serious issue.”
The free-roaming stray cattle, that take refuge anywhere and at any time is no less a menace for the city dwellers. In an incident on the night of September 28, a 34-year-old Major died in an accident, as his bike collided into stray cattle on NH-75. Following the incident, the MC provided compensation to the family and a total of 513 stray animals were caught and put in cow-sheds, during a drive to make Haryana cattle free. However, another 803 stray cows were identified by the Panchkula administration.
In another attempt to address the issue, a shed of a total capacity of 250 cows was constructed in Pinjore. However, the construction of cow-shed worth Rs 5.62 crore, which was to be built at Sukhdarshanpur, was cancelled mid-way when the MC’s own councillor asked for a probe in the matter. Following the allegation, the project was halted and subsequently, the tender was cancelled by the MC.
Despite an increase in the budget of the Haryana Gau Seva Commission, over a period of five years, from Rs 30 crore earlier to Rs 45 lakh, the government has not been able to free the state from the issue of stray cattle.
The Haryana government had set a target to free the state from stray animals by August 15, 2018, however, the deadline was extended to January 1, 2019. The government failed to meet the target both times.