Nagpur: The bunch of “Road Kings or Queens” (stray cattle) enjoying their reign on streets should be thankful to the double standards of NMC Administration in dealing with the menace. The NMC babus declare from roof tops that they would “capture” the stray cattle and initiate stern action against their owners and increase the fine manifold. But the reality tells a different tale. Nothing is being done to curb the menace and the situation remains as it is, the dreadful.
With the onset of monsoon, hordes and hordes of cows and bulls squatting in the middle of roads is common scenario across the city. A fact came to the fore that the owners deliberately set them free to roam on streets so that the cattle feed on their own at public expense. But in the midst of this scenario is the serious threat that stray cattle on road is posing for traffic.
“Is this a part of Smart City plan? If this is the well-planned strategy of NMC babus, cattle owners and City Fathers, then Nagpur would certainly become a Smart City of their liking,” said a hassled citizen.
Notably, those boosting their finances with the help of cattle display a kind of great unity whenever the authorities initiate action against the stray cattle.
Giving a new twist to the nagging problem, the ruling dispensation and “Khaki” and “Khadi” men play their role in aggravating the menace. The Chairman of Standing Committee Sudhir Raut directed the concerned NMC Department to get rid of stray cattle squatting on roads immediately and take stern action against the owners. But the diktat of Raut did not go well down with the ruling as well as other Corporators. These Corporators “suggested” only capturing of stray cattle and set them free without any kind of fine. The “line of thinking” was keeping voters in mind in the election year. The meager amount of fine and sparing the owners has aggravated the menace no end.
. “I would be surprised if I don’t see a cow on Indian roads,” says astrologer Prabodh Vekhende. “Undoubtedly, cow is considered holy and even those walking past it would salute a cow,” he says. “But nowhere do the scriptures say that it should not be slaughtered. Who will worship the cow and who will slaughter are issues which are peculiar to people of different casts and creeds and so are personal in nature.”
In sum, the menace could only be curbed if the fine is increased tenfold and the owners are punished severely. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) hiked the fine for stray cattle owners in July but the problem seem to have worsened as the civic body’s veterinary department is yet to implement the revised penalty. After failing to curb stray cattle menace, the health department had proposed a massive penalty hike and submitted a proposal before the Standing Committee in May this year.
According to the proposal, the fine for stray cattle was to be hiked from Rs 550 to Rs 5,500. The standing panel cleared the proposal in its meeting held on July 15 but the penalty was hiked to Rs 1,100.