PANCHKULA: The tall claims of the administration and the municipal corporation to make stray cattle free by August 15 have fallen flat. Herds can be seen resting under trees and disrupting traffic.

A reality check by of India a day after the Independence Day found stray cattle roaming in sectors 3, 4, 11, 14 and 16, Industrial Area, trans Ghaggar areas and near garbage dumps.

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Come monsoon, and the stray cattle home in on roads in search of food and dry shelter, triggering accidents, especially at night. So, Panchkula’s goal of ridding the city of stray cattle will only be achieved if the civic authorities walk the talk on this vexatious issue. The measures planned by the civic authorities are a step in the right direction, but the MC needs to quickly firm up a fool-proof strategy to tackle the issue along with all stakeholders, including cops and residents, to clear the city of stray cattle.

The main reason for failure of the plan was poor co-ordination among the district administration, the MC and the police, say residents. Streets have become non-motorable due to stray animals, they rue.

‘Harsh steps must be taken to check menace’

Chairman of NGO Lok Sarvhitkari Society Rakesh Aggarwal said, “You can’t blame police for non-cooperation. If MC wants, the city can be made stray cattle-free. The civic body does not want to register cases against dairy owners, who let their cattle lose. MC can identify such owners and ask police to register cases. Streets cannot be made safe by just challaning the cattle owners. Harsh steps have to be taken.”

Ashok Bansal, a resident of Railley village, said their village was most prone to the menace. “People fear going out on roads. They feel they will either be hit by stray cattle or might get hurt in a bulls’ fight,” he added.

However, MC commissioner Rajesh Jogpal said, “It is not that we are not working to make Panchkula a stray cattle-free town. We have made efforts, but it may take a little longer. In October last, the MC had issued notices to 97 violators for letting cattle free on roads. Even a police complaint was lodged. But no strict action was initiated against them. Majority of the violators were from Railley village, Ramgarh, Saketri, Kalka and Pinjore. To date this year, around 20 challans have been issued.”

The MC had announced to make Panchkula cattlefree by August 15.

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