A man tries to negotiate his way as stray cattle act as traffic stoppers on Straight Mile Road on Tuesday. (Bhola Prasad)
Steel city commuters will have to continue to battle bovine menace as urban local bodies are yet to come up with concrete plans to counter the problem.
Stray cattle are a common sight on Straight Mile road between Sakchi and Sidhgora, on Sakchi-Mango road near Aambagan ground and also on Sakchi-Burmamines road. That is not to say stray cattle are not a problem elsewhere too.
They are almost everywhere, loitering on roads at a leisurely pace, munching garbage or resting right in the middle of a busy stretch, irrespective of traffic. The problem assumes menacing proportions at night increasing risk of accidents.
Deputy superintendent of police (traffic) R.M. Sinha agreed that the presence of stray cattle was a problem, but added it was an issue they could do little about.
“It is the duty of the local urban bodies. When there is traffic congestion due to stray cattle during rush hours, we ask our constables to drive away the cattle. There have been several minor mishaps at night because of this,” said the police officer.
President of Singhbhum Kendriya Varishta Nagarik Mancha (a body of senior citizens) Shiv Pujan Singh said their organisation would take up the matter with the district administration.
“We will seek to know from the district administration about actions they have taken so far to get rid of stray cattle on the road through RTI. There is no provision of a kanji house (a short stay house for stray cattle) in the entire district. The district administration has failed to take any worthwhile measures to instil fear amongst cattle owners,” said Singh.
Chandra Sharan, convener of Safety Awareness for Everyone (SAFE), a city based organisation carrying out road safety awareness drives in schools, said cattle owners should be more responsible and take their animals to distant fields for grazing instead of allowing them on roads.
Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) special officer R.N. Dwivedi said that they were already short of manpower and there was no staff to remove stray cattle.
“To the best of my knowledge Jusco has asked a private vendor to employ staff to clear the roads of stray cattle,” said Dwivedi.
Mango Notified Area Committee and Jugsalai municipality officials also cited manpower problems for not being able to drive away cattle.
Managing director of Jusco, Ashish Mathur, confirmed hiring private vendors but added they were not directly responsible for driving away cattle.