In yet another shocking incident of stray cattle taking the life of an elderly citizen on a public road, A 66-year-old man succumbed to the injuries inflicted by stray cattle running over him in Ahmedabad’s Raipur area.
The unfortunate death of an innocent citizen is in a series of many such incidents over the years in Ahmedabad, a city declared world heritage by UNESCO and figuring in the 100 must-visit sites of the world in 2022 published by Time magazine.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is clearly not doing anything or at least not seen doing anything to address the major Faultline in the civic wellbeing in this regard. In any major city of the world, a person dying due to stray cattle would be seen as a huge black spot on the civic administration’s capabilities.
A person dying on road, attacked brutally by stray cattle is a horrifying optic for a city that nurtures the ambition to host the Olympics in a decade’s time. Stray cattle have to be a zero tolerance area on any self-respecting municipal administration’s agenda.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation caught 14844 stray cattle in 2021-22, which is 79% more than the previous year. 1084 police complaints were also lodged against the cattle owners The cattle nuisance control department (CNCD) of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation under provisions of the IPC, the Cattle-Trespass Act 1871, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
No public place, be it a society lane or busy public road is free from the stray cattle menace. The administrative ability and the political will is put to test in tackling such a major flaw in the public welfare delivery system and the results are far from satisfactory.
Every now and then, the newspapers make headlines about someone injured or died due to injuries from cattle on the road. But the administration is unable to address the issue comprehensively. The terror of stray cattle is creating havoc in Raipur, Panjarapol, Wadaj, Ghatlodia, Gota, Nikol, Odhav, CTM and other areas of Ahmedabad.
During the last four months, the cattle caught from the streets of Ahmedabad are 912 in April, 1808 in May, 1609 in June and 689 in July. Animal owners have paid a fine of 27 lakh 47 thousand and released the animals.
At present, the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act 1948 and the Gujarat Municipalities Act, 1963 provide for control of animal nuisance in urban areas, where Animal nuisance control is treated as a civic service.
The talks of arriving at a conclusive solution to the issue have been mere talk over the years. Nothing came out of the promise to set up animal shelters outside the city limits for the animal herders. The bill passed in the Gujarat assembly to regulate stray cattle in urban areas, though passed by a majority was shelved immediately.
The Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill, 2022l, In its ‘statement of objects and reasons,’ especially mentions the threat stray cattle pose to those riding two-wheelers.