The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cash cows on capital streets
- Rs 2,000 for stray cattle
Our right of way

Delhi’ites could soon be queuing up for lessons before Laloo Prasad Yadav’s bungalow. A great cattle rush is on hands in elite south Delhi, where catching a single stray cow and handing it over to the civic body will earn you Rs 2,000.

This order from Delhi High Court ' which thinks the corporation hasn’t been doing its bit to free the streets of cattle ' today had municipal commissioner Rakesh Mehta worried.

“I will now have my cattle-catchers demanding Rs 2,000 every time they catch a cow,” he said. The court, however, had clearly said the civic authorities should pay the money to members of the public if they catch stray cattle.

The thought seemed to perk Mehta up. “It’s not that easy, you know. Catching cows is a professional business; not everyone can do it and earn Rs 2,000.”

The money will be recovered by auctioning off the impounded cattle. Before auction, a computer chip will be implanted in each cow so that its ownership can be fixed if it is caught straying again. That will invite a Rs 15,000 penalty as well as arrest. The experiment will later be repeated in other zones of the capital.

Cow-lovers, like Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore, are appalled. They believe auctioning would spell doom for “dry cows”.

“Who will maintain them' We suspect they will be sent to slaughterhouses in the name of auctioning,” the Hindutva leader said.

“There should be a pinjarapol for dry cows. They are worth Rs 3,000 a month because of the fertilisers their dung yields and their urine, which the US has patented for drugs.”

The division bench of Chief Justice B.C. Patel and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, monitoring the civic body’s efforts to remove stray cattle from the streets, had observed that the officials appeared not to take the job seriously.

Corporation counsel Najmi Waziri submitted that 200 cows had been implanted with chips yesterday, but an unimpressed Justice Kaul said he had counted 16 cows while driving from Lady Sri Ram College to east of Kailash in south Delhi. “It’s the same situation near AIIMS,” he said.

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