LUCKNOW: Paving the way for setting up of a corpus for managing and running shelters for stray cattle in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has notified necessary rules which focus on framing the guidelines and forming urgently required infrastructure.
The decision assumes significance in the wake of numerous attacks by stray cattle being reported from parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Principal secretary (animal husbandry) SM Bobde said after getting the Cabinet's approval, the department has notified the Uttar Pradesh Cow Conservation and Development Fund Rules, 2019, clearly laying down guidelines for establishment and operation of the corpus.
The rules to run and manage the 'govansh ashray sthals' (cattle shelters) at the district-level were cleared on Tuesday at the very first cabinet meeting after the Lok Sabha elections chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
According to an official release, the fund will help in implementation of different developmental schemes relating to cow conservation.
The corpus will be raised through donations, state and central governments, government institutions, individuals or industrial houses, NGOs and charitable institutions, besides 2 per cent 'mandi' cess, 0.5 per cent of the annual excise revenue and 0.5 per cent of the annual toll tax.
Though stray cattle problem might not have been a major issue in Uttar Pradesh during the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, it could snowball into a key issue during the 2022 Assembly polls if it is not resolved in time.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had recently targeted the state government when a stray bull entered his rally venue, prompting Adityanath to retort that his government is committed to protecting cows and that they understand who the "friends of butchers" are -- a subtle reference to the minority community.
The chief minister had promised to completely resolve the issue after the general elections.
The Adityanath government has made arrangements for cow shelters in this year's budget and also instructed each district administration and municipal corporation to make arrangements for cow shelter to resolve the issue of stray cattle.
The government had also taken a number of steps, such as introduction of sex-specific semen and construction of cattle shelter, but there is a realisation that a lot is needed to be done in this direction.
In the last three months, over a dozen incidents of stray cattle attacking people have been reported in Lucknow alone.
Last week, at least 12 persons were injured here as a stray bull ran amok in a procession.
In another incident, a high court judge was attacked by a bull in Gomti Nagar area here last month.