Drive similar to yr 2014 needed to rid city of stray cattle menace

Indore : With stray cattle menace growing, a demand for a 2014 like drive that had terrified cattle owners and given a ray of hope to citizens that the city would finally be free of stray cows, has been raised by residents of the city.

“In 2014, district administration, Indore Municipal Corporation and police had joined hands and collectively carried out drive against stray cattle and cattle owners. Nearly 2000 cattle were rounded up and released outside the city,” said Snehlataganj resident Jitendra Thakur, a reporter-turned-businessman.

He said that the drive had sent ripples of fear in the cattle owners, many of whom had voluntarily shifted to Gwala colony in Sirpur area.

Civic authorities had not only acted against cattle owners but had also taken them to task.

FIRs were filed against nearly 100 cattle owners who were found to be raising cows and buffalos in municipal limits for commercial purposes.  To give more weightage to the drive, district administration had also clamped Section 144 of CrPc banning the presence of stray cattle in herds at public places.

“IMC teams along with police would go to areas where cattle owners raise cows and buffalos and seize the cattle. People would request to release their cattle with imposing fine but the IMC wouldn’t listen.  The IMC would release cows outside the city or lodge them in gaushala at Gandhi Nagar,” remembers Amit Mishra, a senior official with EICHER company.

He said that the drive was stopped mid-stream following political intervention.

Mahalaxmi Nagar resident Ravi Bhadoria said that district administration, IMC and police have again come on one page if they really want to check cattle menace in the city.

“Presently, IMC employees are just catching stray cattle for formality. They would catch the stray cows and release them after collecting fine. This won’t end the menace,” he said.

Indrapuri resident Om Sharma echoed the same views. “Fine will never force any cattle owner to shift to Gwala colonies.” “Only permanent seizure of their cattle is solution to the problem,” he said. As there were allegations that IMC officials hand in glove with cattle owners would release cows, district administration had roped the then SDM Sandeep Soni into the task of supervising the drive.

Head of cattle seizure wing in IMC, Suraj Kero too said that 2014 like drive needs to be conducted to contain cattle menace. “Until there is a fear of police case, cattle owners won’t move to Gwala colonies,” he added.

What they say

“The other day I read in newspaper that IMC has a staff of 15 to catch stray cattle. The hands are not adequate to round up hundreds of cows squatting on roads every day. Staff needs to be strengthened and a massive drive like the one carried out in 2014 is required to deal with cow menace.”Jitesh Sisodiya, businessman.

“I remember the fear among cattle owners of the drive carried out in 2014. That drive had literally sent ripples among cattle owners and they had moved to Gwala colonies in fear of police case against them. If such type of drive is carried out again, I believe the city will get rid of stray cattle.”  Kishore Kardam, contractor.

“Stray cattle roaming on roads not only hit vehicular movement and causes accidents but it also dents the image of our mini-Mumbai. The police and IMC should collectively carry out a massive operation to rid the city of stray cattle.” Shubham Rathore, student.

“Catching five to ten stray cows and releasing them after collecting fine is no solution to the cattle menace. Cattle owners should forcefully be shifted to Gwala colonies like done two years ago. But political interference sabotages that drive. It should be resumed with force and should not be stopped until the last stray cow is caught.” VB Gupta, DAVV professor .

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