The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) concerted efforts to tackle the issue of stray cattle have led to a significant reduction in their presence on the city’s streets. This positive development stems from the high court’s intervention, which spurred the civic body’s cattle nuisance control department (CNCD) into action.
The CNCD’s initiatives have included removing fodder vendors, where people would congregate to feed cows. This prompted the AMC to introduce an online payment page in September, allowing citizens to donate towards the purchase of fodder for cattle housed in panjrapols (cattle pounds). However, the response to this online portal has been underwhelming, with no donations received to date.
Despite this, the AMC’s actions have significantly curtailed cattle feeding spots across the city, and the sale of fodder for charitable feeding has been prohibited within city limits. The new Cattle Nuisance Control Policy 2023 mandates that cattle owners demonstrate sufficient land ownership to keep their animals. Those without adequate land must relocate their cattle. The deadline for unlicensed cattle owners to remove their animals from the city expires tomorrow.
The AMC has received 1,070 applications for cattle licenses in the past three months. Of these, 123 have been approved, 309 rejected, and the remaining 638 are under processing. A license-permit system has been implemented for cattle ownership, requiring cattle owners with land to obtain licenses for keeping cattle within the city. These licenses cost Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 per animal, and are valid for three years. All cattle in the city must also be implanted with an RFID tag.
The policy also addresses individuals obstructing CNCD operations. “Our operations are now videographed to provide evidence for action against people obstructing our work, such as those who follow teams on motorcycles and warn people with cattle or shoo away stray cattle,” said a senior AMC official.
For the first offense of keeping cattle without a license, a penalty of Rs 3,000 will be charged along with Rs 500 in administrative charges. For second and third offenses, the penalty will double and triple, respectively.
The AMC’s comprehensive approach to combating the stray cattle menace has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing their presence on city streets. The policy’s strict enforcement measures and emphasis on accountability will further deter irresponsible cattle ownership and safeguard public safety.