Facing space problem of keeping the stray cattle captured during a drive and the owners not coming forward to claim the cattle, the Sambalpur Municipality is contemplating to auction the animals.
With stray cattle loitering on the roads of Sambalpur leading to frequent mishaps and public outcry, the Municipality decided to solve the problem recently. It launched a drive on November 20 and its staff were deployed to capture the cattle roaming on the town.
Since the kine house at Mudipada here is in a dilapidated condition, the Municipality kept the captured stray cattle in State Livestock Breeding and Agricultural Farm at Chiplima, around 25 km from here. The Municipality announced that in order to claim the cattle, each owner would have to pay `500 per day.
It expected that the drive would deter the owners from releasing their cattle to the roads and also help the Municipality recover the money spent on fodder for the captured canines. Sources said 116 cattle were caught since the drive was launched. The owners staked claim and took back 40 cattle. But the owners have not come forward to claim the rest cattle which has become a financial drain for the Municipality.
Executive Officer of the Municipality Aniruddha Pradhan said, “76 cattle are still in the custody of the Municipality at Chiplima farm and `1 lakh has already been spent on their fodder. The Municipality had deposited `2 lakhs with the Chief District Veterinary Officer for the fodder of the cattle who were caught during the drive,” he said and added that the drive would continue.
But with many owners not turning up to claim the cattle, the civic body is now planning to auction them in rural pockets.
Earlier, the Municipality had announced and urged the cattle owners not to let their cattle roam on the roads.
It asked the owners to take away their cattle from the roads but when it did not evoke any response, the Municipality went ahead and took the animals into its custody.