Madhya Pradesh Animal Husbandry Minister Lakhan Singh Yadav has said that the Congress government in the state is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a company that has promised to build 300 “Smart Gaushalas” over the next five years.
The Cabinet Minister said the company will not charge a penny from the government, but added that it will make money by exporting items made from gaumutra (cow’s urine), gobar (cowdung) and the “stiff hairs on a cow’s tail’’. The company has sought 50 acres of land for each proposed “Smart Gaushala” and will spend Rs 11 crore on each of them, Yadav said.
The minister said that the day the company stops running the gaushala, it will “automatically return” to the government. When asked to name the company, Yadav said he cannot recall it.
Asked by The Indian Express if the company has any previous experience of running “Smart Gaushalas”, the minister said he had asked them the same question and they replied that something like this had never been done before. “I asked them, ‘bhai 11 crore main aisi konsi gaushala bana rahe ho; unhone kaha wo bilkul hi-tech hogi.. mujhe pata nahi kya planning hogi,’’ (When I asked them why would a gaushala cost Rs 11 crore; they said it will be hi-tech,’’ he said.
“Maine poocha itna investment karoge refund kahan se loge? Unhone bataya gaumutra, gobar, gai ki poonch me jo chhote chhote kadak bal hote hai usse bahut sari cheezein banayenge aur use export karenge (When I asked them how do you plan to recover your investment, they said they will export many things made of cow urine, dung and the stiff hairs on cow’s tail),” Yadav added.
The minister said that once these “smart gaushalas” start operation in the state, not a single stray cattle will be out on the streets and markets, and accidents on highways and elsewhere will stop. “It will be a big achievement.’’
The company, he said, will pay money to people who bring stray cattle to the “smart gaushalas”. He admitted that even he was surprised by the offer because the company plans to grow fodder and generate electricity.
In the first phase, the government will provide land to build five smart gaushalas near Bhopal, and will allot land for the remaining gaushalas later, the minister said. Asked if he thinks the project will take off and be successful, Yadav said the company will have to prove itself.
BJP leader Hitesh Bajpai accused the Congress of not being sincere to the cause of cows and “playing with emotions”. “Smart gaushalas are an eyewash. They are preparing the ground for another fodder scam and land scam,’’ he alleged.