Stray Cattle Must Be In Cow Shelters By 10 Jan: Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given all district magistrates about a week to ensure that stray cattle across the state are shifted to cow shelters, officials said.
The directions were given at a video conference on Wednesday, 2 January, amid reports that stray cattle were destroying crops. In parts of the state, farmers have reportedly herded stray cattle into places like government schools to save their crops.
Action Against Owners Of Stray Cattle
Adityanath directed strict action against owners of stray cattle and those locking up animals in government buildings, an official said.
The meeting was also attended by Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey and other top officials. The chief minister told the DMs to ensure that farmers and others do not face any problems due to stray cattle.
The district magistrates should impose fines on those who come to the shelters to claim their cows after abandoning them.
Help Needed From Traders And Businessmen to Run ‘Kanji Houses’
He said help from traders, businessmen and people's representatives should be sought in running `kanji houses', the shelters where cows are currently kept. Adityanath has held a series of meetings after angry farmers locked stray cows in government buildings in some parts of the state.
Recently, people in at least two villages in Aligarh and Firozabad districts rounded up stray cattle and herded them into government schools, refusing to let classes run until the administration did something about the animals.
The Adityanath government has cracked down on illegal slaughterhouses in the state and tasked the police to prevent cow slaughter.
Cow Welfare Cess Introduced
The state government had on Tuesday, 1 January, decided to introduce an additional levy of 0.5 per cent as cow welfare cess on eight profit-making public sector infrastructure companies to fund the construction and maintenance of cow shelters.
The cess will also apply on travel on some expressways where motorists already pay a toll. The new cow shelters will be opened in all villages, panchayats, municipalities, nagar panchayats and municipal corporations, officials said.
The shelters will have a capacity to hold at least 1,000 animals, they said.