To control the problem of stray cattle in the capital, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation will make it compulsory to implant a chip in the animals so they are not abandoned by owners or left to roam on the streets.
“The chip would be fed with a code that will help get the information of the cattle’s owner and help officials to identify him and fix responsibility or impose penalties,” Leader of the house in the North MCD, Yogesh Verma, said.
The problem has snowballed over the past few years, with stray cattle clogging traffic at several locations, including prominent markets. The cattle one sees on roads are mostly bulls, male calves or cows that have stopped milking. While called ‘stray’, these are in fact largely left abandoned by owners and illegal dairies as they stop serving economic value. A few people also let out milch cows to roam during the day and take them back in the evening.
A senior official of the North MCD said the corporation is yet to take a call on whether the expenses would be borne by civic body or dairy owners. A policy regarding this is being framed, he said.
He said the chips would have all relevant details of the cattle owner, including Aadhaar.
The decision was taken after it was discussed during an earlier meeting that the problem might worsen in the coming days as the North MCD has red-flagged that it does not have enough resources to catch cattle, even as there are 266 illegal dairies operating in North Delhi.
The department has issued 956 challans against the dairy owners since 2019, and there have also been letters written to police to register FIRs and for Delhi Jal Board to cut their water supply.
It was also red-flagged that due to shortage of vehicles, there aren’t enough cattle-friendly veterinary ambulances.
The three MCDs send stray cattle to four shelters — Gopal Gausadan with a capacity of 3,200; Sri Krishna which has space for 7,600 cattle; Manav Gausadan which can accommodate 500 cattle; and Dabur Hare Krishna Gaushala in Surhera with a capacity of 4,000. Most of them are full.
In 2002, the Supreme Court had ordered shutting of dairies functioning in urban areas so that abandoned animals do not roam around on Delhi’s busy streets. A 188-acre plot near north Delhi’s Narela was allotted by the erstwhile unified MCD to develop a separate cattle products hub. The corporation had provided 2,082 plots in 2004, saying dairy farms would be shifted in a phased manner. But around 120 farmers have shifted as the majority of dairy farmers refused to relocate, citing inadequate facilities, including water shortage.
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