Mumbai: ‘Stray’ cows will cost owners dear

Mumbai: Livestock owners in Mumbai will now have to ensure their livestock do not stray on city roads. The BMC plans to increase fines by 300 per cent (currently Rs 2,500) on those leaving their livestock untended. The fine will now be up to Rs 10,000.

The proposal to implement this new rule will be tabled for approval at the standing committee meeting on Wednesday. There are people earning a livelihood by keeping animals outside temples for devotees to feed them. The proposal says this results in a mess in public places, due to the storage of fodder and the dung of the livestock.

Moreover, traffic jams are also caused on roads as these animals tend to wander on the streets. In order to stop this, the BMC has increased the fine by 300 per cent. Livestock which strays onto roads will be taken to the 'kondwada' (animal prison) by the BMC. The offending owner must pay the fine for their livestock to be released. Earlier, when livestock was caught by the animal-catchers, the owners would pay the fine and it was back to business as usual.

However, according to the new proposal, it is a crime to tether animals. The existing penalty amount was approved by the BMC on March 1, 2004. Now, 15 years later, the administration is planning to increase the penalty amount. Earlier, the fine was Rs 2, 500 for large animals, and now it will be Rs 10,000. For stray calves, the earlier fine was Rs 1,500, which will now be Rs 6,000.The proposal further states, these fines are being increased since the catching of stray livestock involves huge expenditure, with the use of animal catchers, municipal vehicles, staff, fuel and then their transportation to the animal prison at Malad. These expenses will be covered by the proposed penalty. The hike in penalty has been proposed by the corporator Nehal Shah and will be implemented after the approval of the standing committee.

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