CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has directed the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) to start a vigorous drive to tackle the cattle menace on city roads, warning it of stern action if the orders are not followed.
A division bench of Justice I Mohanty and Justice SC Parija has instructed the civic body to remove all the cattle from the roads and hand them over to an organisation 'Biswa Go Surakhshya Bahini' which runs a 'Gosala' at Choudwar.
Funds should be provided to the organisation for maintenance of the cattle. The CMC should file an affidavit on compliance with the order within two weeks.
"The directions should be complied with scrupulously failing which the Court will be left with no other alternative but to initiate appropriate proceedings under Contempt of Courts Act," the bench ruled.
The CMC should also issue public notice warning people of consequences of setting domestic animals free on streets. The captured animals will be released on payment of fine with strict instructions to refrain from the practice. The Municipal Commissioner should initiate measures for registration of all domestic animals including cattle, dogs and other pets and issue licenses for them. They should be monitored for proper vaccination as per norms.
The Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) has also been asked to immediately convene a meeting of authorities concerned to identify location for the 'Gosala' to be set up by the Municipality. The Court had earlier directed for constitution of a committee headed by RDC for the purpose but it noted with disappointment that no action had been taken yet.
The directive came in response to a PIL filed by 'Biswa Go Surakshya Bahini' through its president Suresh Kumar Panda alleging gross mishandling of the cattle menace in the Millennium City by the CMC.
While the attempts to free the roads from stray animals were feeble, the manner in which the animals were removed violated the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the norms laid down by Animal Welfare Board. They were also kept in kine houses in miserable condition, the petitioner had alleged.
The bench has sought a status report on the existing kine houses of CMC. The Director of Veterinary Services has been directed to file an affidavit on stray bulls moving around the city. It has been alleged that most of the bulls on streets belong to the Veterinary Department.