New Delhi: In a bid to resolve the growing problem of stray cattle in the national capital, Delhi’s municipal bodies are planning to bring in a policy to implant a chip in these animals. Civic authorities feel this will help prevent abandonment of cattle by their owners, who often leave them to roam the streets.
The proposal has already been approved by the standing committee of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), and will be taken up for discussion by councillors in the House Thursday.
Yogesh Verma, leader of the House in the NDMC, told ThePrint that the proposal includes a penalty of Rs 25,000 to be imposed on those abandoning cattle. “The chip will be embedded with a code that will help get the information of the cattle owners and help officials to identify them and accordingly fix responsibility,” he said.
At present, if any accident occurs due to stray cattle, the involved parties or their families can approach the courts, and the local municipal body is made to face legal action since cattle owners don’t come forward, Verma said. The microchips will resolve the issue as phone numbers, addresses and other details of the owners will be fed in, he added.
The proposal is also set to be taken up by the South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations, sources said, but initially, 104 wards in the NDMC will implement it, an official told ThePrint.
Overall, the exercise will cover 14,000 stray cattle spread across all 70 assembly constituencies in Delhi. “There are at least 200 cattle in each of the Vidhan Sabha constituencies,” explained a civic body official who did not wish to be identified.
Increasing problem despite decades of intervention
A second official said the problem of stray cattle has increased manifold over the years, clogging traffic in the densely populated national capital. “A few people also let out milch cows to roam during the day and take them back in the evening,” this official said.
The Supreme Court had intervened in this matter nearly 19 years ago, in 2002, directing that dairies functioning in urban areas be shut down so that abandoned animals do not roam Delhi’s busy streets. In September 2010, giving a last opportunity to the unified MCD to comply with its orders, the Delhi High Court also directed it to complete rehabilitation of all illegal dairies from urban areas of the city to Ghogha Dairy Colony within a year or face contempt of court.
The North, South and East Delhi municipal corporations send stray cattle to four shelters at present — Gopal Gausadan in Harewali with a capacity of 3,200; Sri Krishna Gaushala in Bawana, which has space for 7,600 cattle; Manav Gausadan in Rewla Khanpur, which can accommodate 500; and Dabar Hare Krishna Gaushala in Surhera with a capacity of 4,000, according to data obtained from the NDMC.
A similar initiative was brought in in 2004 by the unified MCD. “However, it was discontinued after a while, in 2006, as the contract was ended since there was mismanagement of funds worth Rs 65 lakh by the contractor,” said B.S. Tyagi, then-director, veterinary services, MCD.