Hundreds of cows have allegedly died in the past few days at the Hingonia Cow Rehabilitation Centre in Jaipur, with the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) suspending two officials and a group of councillors staging protests.
The protesting councillors claimed that around 500 bovines have died of starvation at the centre in the past five days.
“In the past five days, 500 cows have died at the Hingonia Cow Rehabilitation Centre. Akshay Patra Foundation, which manages the centre, didn’t feed the animals for the past several days as they are saying they didn’t receive payments from the JMC,” alleged BJP councillor Anil Kumar Sharma.
Sharma said the councillors have demanded action and that cases of cow slaughter should be lodged against those who were responsible for the alleged deaths.
However, Radha Priya Das from the Akshay Patra Foundation, a programme coordinator at the centre, said they have been struggling to arrange for the fodder owing to non-payment of bills by the JMC. “The JMC didn’t pay the bills for fodder since October last year and the amount stands around Rs 12 crore. The vendors stopped providing fodder after this. But we didn’t keep the cows hungry and we got all available materials like sugarcane, potato and green fodder and fed them. This situation has been created by some corporators from the JMC and a few other people who wanted to take political advantage,” claimed Das.
He claimed that cows require around 80 tonnes of fodder everyday and without the JMC’s assistance the centre managed to provide 40-50 tonnes. “The JMC has released a part of the payment now and we have fodder. Prior to this, around 60-70 cows were dying daily,” said Das.
Das cited a letter written by the centre’s management to the civic body commissioner on February 6, in which it was mentioned that shortage of fodder is a very serious issue and may lead to mass deaths of cattle. “The cow rehabilitation centre in Hingonia had become a tourist place in past two years. But in two months, the way the situation has gone downhill, the JMC administration should think about it.”
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