LUCKNOW: Days after winning the polls in UP, the BJP has moved to find ways to fulfill the promises it made in its election manifesto.
The party has decided to tackle the issue of stray cattle on priority as it had great resonance and anger against the ruling party on the ground. Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also promised to the voters at a rally in Unnao before the fifth phase of the assembly polls a lasting solution to the stray cattle problem on priority after coming to power.
Moving ahead to find a lasting solution to the perennial problem of stray cattle, the BJP, which is yet to form the formal government in the state, is contemplating setting up large and sustainable cattle protection centres with biogas plants in each district across the state. As per the plan, a fine would also be imposed on those found freeing the cattle to feed on crops in rural areas, said the highly placed sources.
During the elections, the issue of stray cattle was a big issue in rural areas right from the west to the east. People used to rake up the issue which was the result of the policy of shutting down illegal slaughterhouses where infirm cattle used to be slaughtered. However, after coming to power in 2017, Yogi Adityanath’s government first decision was to shut illegal slaughterhouses and send the infirmed cattle to protection houses.
As per the sources, the animal husbandry department on Monday made a presentation on a new plan to deal with the stray cattle problem to chief secretary DS Mishra. However, the final approval to the plan would be given by Yogi Adityanath himself after taking the oath of office.
At the Monday meeting, it was proposed to set up large and financially sustainable cattle protection centre in each of the 75 districts.
According to an official, with the housing capacity for 1,000 or more animals, each such centre would have a biogas plant to produce cooking gas and sell the same to locals besides making products from cattle dung thus paving way for the farmers to earn more through infirmed cattle.
Currently, the state government is protecting nine lakh infirmed cattle at protection centres. Of those, one lakh have been given to farmers. Moreover, those entrusted with protecting cattle are given Rs 900 per month per animal for its nurturing.
As per the senior officials, there is also a proposal to fix a fine as a deterrent to being imposed on the villagers who would be found freeing their cattle to feed upon the crops. The provision of the fine already existed in cities.
The sources also claimed that under the new scheme of things, the Panchayati Raj department would be entrusted with catching the stray cattle and putting them into the cattle protection centres in the rural areas and the local bodies in the cities. The animal husbandry department’s job may largely be confined to
ear-tagging, vaccination and treatment of cattle.