A CITY-BASED advocate has sent a legal notice to senior officials of the Haryana government, taking up the issue of large number of stray cattle in Haryana while citing the state’s own Gau-raksha laws. The notice was sent on Sunday.
The advocate has questioned the implementation of the Gau-raksha laws and has demanded their successful implementation to curb the menace of stray cattle throughout the state within 30 days of receipt of the notice. The advocate has also threatened to move the court in case no action is taken on the notice.
Calling the lack of any initiative in the matter, “criminal neglect on part of government and local authorities”, advocate Vijay Bansal who lives in Nalagrah, has demanded that all legal provisions be implemented throughout Haryana and especially in Panchkula district, within 30 days of receiving the notice.
The notice also mentioned the death of a 34-year-old Major in Panchkula on September 28, 2019 in an accident after his bike had collided into stray cattle roaming on NH-75 at night.
Laws including Section 48 and article 51A (g) of the Constitution of India, The Punjab livestock and bird disease Act, the Punjab livestock improvement Act and the Punjab prohibition of cow slaughter Act along with the Government of India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act have been reproduced in the notice.
It been sent to the Chief Secretary of the Government of Haryana, Principal Secretary of the Urban Local Bodies, Haryana, Director of Urban Local Bodies Haryana, Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula and Municipal Commissioner of Panchkula.
The notice further reminds the bureaucrats of the laws framed by the Government of Haryana enacted in 2015, Gau Vans Sarankshan and Gausamvardhan which state that “the government shall make scheme, project or program for the conservation and up-gradation of indigenous breeds of cow… The government or a local body when so directed by government shall establish an institution to accept, keep, maintain and care for the infirm, injured, stray and uneconomic cows….”, and has blamed the non-implementation of these acts ‘in letter and spirit,’ which has made the problem of stray cattle so frightful.
Haryana’s problem of stray cattle is a long one. The government had first decided to free the state of stray animals by August 15, 2018. The deadline was then extended to January 1, 2019, but more than a year-and-a-half later, the problem still persists.
The budget of the Haryana Gau Seva Commission has increased from Rs 45 lakh to Rs 30 crore in the last five years, but the government has not been able to tackle the issue.
As per information revealed in September 2019 RTI reply to activist PP Kapoor from Panipat, there exist a total of 3,61,068 cows in the 513 gaushalas of the state. Kapoor has been fighting to get an update on the ‘Stray cattle free’ Haryana campaign but to no avail.The HCS and IAS officers have defaulted on appearing before the State Information Commission despite several notices of appearance.
While Panchkula had rehabilitated 513 of its stray cattle during the drive to make Haryana cattle free, as many as 803 animals officially identified by the district authorities still stay loose. Tender of a shed with a capacity of 250 cows worth Rs 5.6 crore, to be built in Pinjore at ‘Sukhdarshanpur’ for the cattle in Panchkula, had to be cancelled mid-way after allegations of corruption. The cow shed was then allotted to the Madhav Gaushala Charitable Trust in May this year. Despite claims by the local MLA of making the shed functional “at the earliest”, it remains shut.
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