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MCD discusses capital’s stray cattle menace


New Delhi: Councillors in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Friday questioned the agency’s methods of catching stray cattle from the capital’s roads and also set up a committee to probe the delay in the setting up of a proposed dairy plan to regulate the existing 2,735 unauthorised dairies.

MCD’s leader of the house Subhash Arya, former mayor Arti Mehra and standing committee chairman R.K. Singhal raised a short notice question in the house meeting on stray animal catching practices.

They alleged that the civic agency was catching stray animals from houses in the city’s rural areas just to ensure that the official statistics showed they were indeed working on the menace.

They contended that this is perhaps the only national capital where stray cattle roam the streets. The issue of stray cattle has assumed a serious proportion with an estimated 20,000 cows on the loose in the city. Jaywalking cows end up causing traffic chaos and accidents.

The MCD policy, they said, does not differentiate whether cows are caught on the city’s busy roads or in rural pockets where dairy farming is prevalent. Around 28-odd trucks go about the capital impounding the animals that are taken to five cow sheds across the national capital.

Another issue discussed was the delay in the setting up of the proposed Goga Dairy in northwest Delhi’s Narela area which the MCD had hoped would address the problems of 2,735 unauthorised dairies in the capital’s 135 urbanised villages.

“Under this plan, according to MCD commissioner, a mere 507 plots have been allotted. There is an incredible gap there,” Arya said.

Commissioner K.S. Mehra, however, held that while only 507 plots had been allotted, 3,580 more plots were being planned.

Now the MCD has set up a committee of the complainants as well as leader of opposition J.K. Sharma to probe the matter further and submit a report in 10 to 15 days.

The MCD is also awaiting its standing committee’s approval on a proposal to impose a fine of Rs.5,000-Rs.10,000 on cattle owners whose cows are found roaming on the streets.

Under the law, if an owner fails to take care of his cattle, he can face six months in jail or a fine of Rs.1,000 or both. The MCD imposes no fine to release the animal from the pound.

There have been incidents when some cows have attacked residents. Facing the court’s wrath in many cases, the MCD has had to cough up over Rs.100,000 in compensation over the years.