New Delhi: At a time when the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government seems more concerned about stray cattle than farmers and has already allocated Rs 10 crore to each municipal corporation for upkeep of cow shelters and has also levied a 0.5% Cow Welfare Cess, reports of dying stray cows are pouring in frequently from the BJP-ruled state.
In a recent incident in Naya Gaon Mubarakpur of Hardoi district, three cows have died in four days due to improper management with no one from the authorities landing up on the spot. The dead cows are lying in a decomposed state since a few days, say reports.
According to a report published in a Hindi daily, there are two cattle shelters in the district. One is situated in Bahar Gaon and other in Naya Gaon Mubarakpur. These were started by the District Magistrate (DM) of Hardoi, Pulkit Khare, who had given all necessary instructions to the officials concerned during the cattle shelter meeting. Yet, three cows have died in four days.
Rajesh Kumar, Village Development Officer (VDO) of Naya Gaon Mubarakpur, told Newsclick that "the condition of the shelter is horrible. Its capacity is only 250 to 300 cattle, but when it was opened, people from the block came along with stray cattle and left them here, after which it became overcrowded. No one bothers what these cows will eat. In fact, the DM has adopted the village yet there is nobody to look after the cattle."
Asked about the government allocation of Rs 10 crore to each municipal corporation for cow shelters, Kumar said, "In my knowledge, we have not received a single rupee so far. People give donations and that is how we are able to run the shelter. I have spent more than Rs 25,000 in a month over this shelter. I don't think this will work in long term.”
This is not the first time such an incident has been reported. Recently, over two dozen cows were found dead at a privately-run shelter home in Aligarh district. All of these cow deaths were reported in the last 48 hours from a cow shelter in village Pisawa under the Chandos block of Aligarh, says a report by Times of India.
Stray Cattle Are Damaging Crops
The stray cattle menace is giving sleepless nights to farmers in Uttar Pradesh.
Farmers in some parts of UP had reportedly herded stray cattle into places like government schools, affecting their functioning. Hundreds of acres of crops have been destroyed by the abandoned animals. There have been several instances of farmers locking up the stray cattle in school and hospital premises.
Farmers in various districts say they have are spending nights in their farms to protect their crops from being destroyed by stray cattle. According to IndiaSpend, Uttar Pradesh has seen the highest number of incidents of cow-related violence – mobs attacking people over the treatment of cows – in the country.
Though the Yogi Adityanath government has introduced a cow welfare tax of 0.5% to construct new cow shelters, the rising number of stray cattle is proving to be a huge challenge.