Bareilly: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s ‘love’ for cows has become common knowledge by now. But, the report of death of 600 cows at a shelter in Bareilly in the last nine months, as claimed by the city mayor, has brought the spotlight on the failure of the CM to provide protection to the bovine population of the state.
Mayor Umesh Gautam in his letter to the CM claimed that, “In the last nine months, about 600 bovines have died at the Kanha Upvan (a cow shelter) and their carcass were not buried properly.”
The letter claiming to be written last week after a surprise inspection of the cow shelter further reads that, “More than 600 bovines were kept here in the past by the Gausevaks and Trustees but the fact is that this place cannot shelter more than 300 bovines while the quality of fodder which was being given to the cows was also found to be of low quality. A number of the cows were found to be in a very weak condition while some carcasses were also found in the cow shelter.”
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An FIR was lodged recently against the Kamdhenu Gaushala trust after the district administration found several lapses in it. The trust has been blacklisted and has been barred from receiving any funds for maintaining cows in the future.
3-MEMBER COMMITTEE TO PROBE COW DEATHS
“We recently discovered that some cows have died at Kanha Upvan but the reason that I can see is that these cows were brought in a very weak condition to the shelter and their chances of survival were already very low. I and the district magistrate Virendra Ji personally visited the cow shelter and formed a 3-member committee to probe the death of cows. The cow shelter has been getting funds and there is no dearth of it,” said Commissioner Samuel Paul over telephone.
Meanwhile, levelling allegations of carelessness against the Commissioner, Umesh Gautam said, “The issue has been raised several times in front of the Nagar Nigam but they never paid heed towards our request and now cows have started to die. Even the Commissioner never listens to us.”
Cold war between Mayor and Commissioner
The Commissioner, when asked about this entire episode, said, “The Mayor is the first citizen of the city and he, too, has some responsibilities towards these things. Instead of making a hue and cry in front of the media, he should see what we have been doing.”
“In the initial probe it was found that most of the Gausewaks were missing from October 25 and the probe committee has mentioned this in its report,” he added.
Sanjeev Gaur, one of the trustees, however, refuted the government’s claim that there was no dearth of funds. He said, “There has been so much carelessness on the part of the Nagar Nigam as the trust was not getting funds on time. Due to this, the animals were not getting fodder on time and their treatment was also delayed.”
It may also be mentioned that the UP government, in May 2019, had announced that for conservation of cows, funds will be raised through donations from state and central governments, government institutions, individuals or industrial houses, NGOs and charitable institutions, besides a 2% cess from mandi (markets), 0.5% of the annual excise revenue and 0.5% of the annual toll tax. For the financial year 2019-20, a fund of Rs 600 crore was allocated for cow protection.
Also read: Uttar Pradesh: Cows Continue Dying At State Run Shelters Due to Rain And Lightning
Talking about the plight of cows, Ram Gulam Yadav, who runs a cow shelter in Lucknow without any aid from the government, said, “Now, even cow has become vote bank politics material for the parties. The CM says a lot but in reality the execution on the ground level has failed. There has not been any improvement in the condition of cows in the state.”
Recently, the CM had also pulled up the Maharajganj DM and four other top district officials for their alleged carelessness in a government run cow shelter in the district.