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Lack of grazing area adds to stray cattle menace: Gujarat High Court

The state government in its reply on Monday submitted that it is working on the suggestion made by the corporation on enacting laws on the line of the Maharashtra government to introduce Gujarat Keeping and Restricting Movement of Cattle in Urban Areas Control Act.

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Lack of grazing area adds to stray cattle menace: Gujarat High Court
Gujarat High Court
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The Gujarat High Court on Monday said that the increase in the stray cattle hazard on the streets of Ahmedabad was because of unavailability of gauchar land (graze Land).

The second division bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BN Karia was hearing a contempt of court petition filed by Siddharth Jha, a resident, in which he alleged that though there were court orders in the past, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had failed to keep the roads free from stray animals. This was causing road accidents, traffic nuisance and some times proved to be fatal.

The court said, "The corporation has failed to address the issue and is not able to ask or force cattle owners to keep the cattle off roads. This could be because of rapid urbanisation, as graze land in urban areas has shrunk, because of which owners leave their cattle free to look for fodder. The only solution can be of earmarking graze land on the outskirts of the city and ask cattle owners to keep their herd there."

The court has asked the corporation to take action to resolve the problem. The court is also of the view that the corporation needs to constitute a committee, in which there should be representatives, this committee should work on resolving the problem.

The state government in its reply on Monday submitted that it is working on the suggestion made by the corporation on enacting laws on the line of the Maharashtra government to introduce Gujarat Keeping and Restricting Movement of Cattle in Urban Areas Control Act.

The court has also asked the corporation to create awareness about Swachhata among citizens. If people stop throwing garbage on streets and the road, it can help a lot in reducing stray cattle hazard.

The fact is, there are some 45,000 stray cattle in the city and the corporation has only one designated shelter home. Its capacity is just 1,000 cattle at a time. If there are more animals than that, the corporation will have to send them to private panjrapols, which costs a lot — Rs 1200 for a cattle per day.

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