Cow owners in Haryana may soon have the option of sending their animals to a ‘hostel’ if they don’t have enough space for them at home. The Haryana Gau Sewa Aayog, an autonomous body constituted by the state government in 2013, will soon send its proposal of setting up “cow hostels” across the state to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Aayog chairman Bhani Ram Mangla told The Sunday Express that he has discussed the proposal with state Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain, who, he said, wanted the “first such cow hostel to come up in Sonipat, her assembly constituency”.
The Aayog, which plans to seek land from Urban Local Bodies Department to construct these cow sheds or “cow hostels”, wants to first run a pilot – start such hostels in one or two towns – before replicating the same in the other parts of the state “keeping in view the response to such hostels”.
The plan is to keep about 50 cows in each hostel, Mangla said, adding, “We will allow admission only to indigenous cows; not cross-bred ones”.
“If all goes well, we will set up societies for the management of each cow hostel. These societies will work like Resident Welfare Associations,” Mangla said, adding that the Urban Local Bodies Department would have ownership over the land and the societies would pay rent to the department.
While the societies will charge an “accommodation fee”, the cow owners “will be able to use the milk for their domestic purposes. They will also be free to sell the milk”.
The Aayog hopes the cow hostels will ensure protection of cows while helping to control the number of stray cattle on the roads. According to the Livestock Census of 2012, there are 1.48 lakh stray cows on the roads. However, Mangla claims the number of such cows has come down to 25,000. Currently, the state has 437 gaushalas to accommodate 3.2 lakh cows.