BJP MP from Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh, Kunwar Pushpesh Singh Chandel, on Friday raised the issue of stray cattle ruining crops in his constituency, blaming scarcity of water and fodder for the problem.
Linking the problem to the failure of the government to implement the Ken-Betwa river linking project, Chandel told the House that scarcity of water in the region had led to lack of fodder. Water scarcity is a perennial problem in the region.
“Water scarcity in Bundelkhand and unavailability of fodder has forced farmers to leave their cattle to graze in the open. These cattle are destroying crops,” Chandel said.
Then he shifted to praising the governments at the Centre and the state for opening cow shelters in a bid to tackle the problem.
Returning to the topic, he said, “But the biggest problem is there is no water. Farmers are not able to produce fodder… The issue is about linking Ken-Betwa rivers, but I have started my argument with the issue of stray cattle. …people are migrating away from Bundelkhand. …all these issues can be solved if the region gets water.”
Chandel said Bundelkhand had over 24 lakh cattle of which seven lakh had turned stray after farmers found it difficult to feed them. Stressing on the need to find a solution to the problem quickly, Chandel said, “When a farmer comes back from the field after a hard day’s work, he wants to sleep. But because of the fear of stray cattle destroying his crops, he cannot. The farmer is 24/7 on the job. If his crop is destroyed, he commits suicide,” Chandel said.
He also said fencing is not a solution since cattle were rampaging through the fields in thousands. However, after every assertion, Chandel mentioned the efforts made by the Yogi Aditynath government to set up cow shelters.
BJP MP from Godda in Jharkhand, Nishikant Dubey, too, spoke on the issue but largely focused on the river linking project and how it was delayed by the erstwhile Congress government.
Meanwhile, as many as 30 private member’s bills were introduced in the Lower House on Friday.
A Bill for prohibition on non-vegetarian food at official functions was introduced by BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma who argued that this will help the cause of animal conservation.
The BJP’s Nishikant Dubey introduced a Bill for banning cow slaughter and setting up of authority for stabilising population of cows. Chandel, who moved the resolution on stray cattle, also introduced a Bill for constitution of a board for protection and control of stray cows in the country. He also moved another Bill for constitution of Bundelkhand Regiment in the Army.
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