New Delhi: At least 200 cows have died in a cow shelter in Greater Noida in the past two months due to hunger, overcrowding and fodder. This is despite Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's much-professed love for cows and his direction to the authorities to shift all stray animals to shelter houses.
According to media reports, between January 1 and March 7, at least 200 stray animals died at Gau-Lok, a shelter in Jalpura village in Ecotech 3 area of Greater Noida.
According to a Hindi daily, the shelter house is run by a NGO named Goras Foundation. Over the past few months, the Greater Noida Authority, on instructions from the Yogi Adityanath Government, has been leaving stray cattle from different regions at this shelter house. However, there is no arrangement for extra fodder or space.
A villager was quoted by Hindi daily Amar Ujala as saying that on an average, four-five stray cows are dying daily. It is expected that the Chief Minister will visit the place soon.
Last year, while presenting the state’s third budget of Rs 4.79 lakh crore for 2019-20, the Yogi-led government had allocated Rs 447 crore for cow protection, of which Rs 247 crore was for maintenance and construction of gaushalas (cow shelters) in rural areas, and Rs 200 crore for Kanha Gaushala and Destitute Cattle Shelter Scheme in urban areas. Notably, the state government also levied a cow protection cess on the revenue of various departments including the excise.
Nagendra Kumar, caretaker of Gau Lok was quoted by Hindustan Times, as saying that the caretakers of the shelter run by ‘Goras Foundation’ said the authority had started sending stray cattle to their shelter from January 1. “Earlier, we had 450 bovines at our shelter, but from January 1, their population rose to 1,250. We are witnessing at least four bovine deaths every day and, over 200 have died so far. We register the entry, birth and death of cattle at our shelter with the Greater Noida authority."
“Many stray cattle that are brought in our shelter are ailing and we have only one veterinary doctor here. Many bulls have turned violent and fatally wounded other bovines. Several of these animals are undernourished,” Kumar stated in the report.
Speaking to Newsclick, additional chief executive of Greater Noida Authority, Deep Chand, denied the report. "it is not true that 200 cows died in past two months. In Gau Lok, we have temporary arrangement and very soon, we will be provide fully constructed shelter houses with proper sheds. There will be full time veterinary doctors at the shelter house and every kind of medical help.”
In Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh, 150 km from Greater Noida, more than 100 cows died last month. In February, five cows had died due to cold in Shamli district.
There are 510 registered cow shelters in the state. According to 2012 government data, there were around two crore cows in the state. Chief Minister Adityanath has also called for a fresh census and has allocated funds for that.
Read More: Five Stray Cows Die in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli