|Bhubaneswar municipal corporation personnel pick up stray cows. Picture by Gopal Krishna Reddy
Berhampur, Dec. 6: Stray dogs and cattle are posing serious problems in the city. However, Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities say they have initiated steps to tackle the menace.
“Stray dogs and cattle do not come under the purview of traffic law. When owners let their cattle roam on the streets, it poses serious traffic problems and consequently we suffer a lot,” said Debasish Mishra, a resident of Ankuli.
Bhim Manseth, the municipal commissioner, said: “We have built a temporary cattle pound popularly known as Kanjiahuda just behind the municipal guest house. Around 300 stray cattle were picked up and kept there for the last two months.
“We have deployed a few people for the purpose and provided them a special vehicle. They venture out at night and impound the stray cattle.”
However, residents say the problem still persists.
“We are planning to construct a permanent cattle pound at a place outside Berhampur. The place is yet to be finalised and we had discussed the issue with the revenue divisional commissioner (southern division) Berhampur,” added Manseth.
“Although nobody can guess the exact number of strays in Berhampur, the traffic in the city has improved a lot after we started impounding the cattle,” said Manseth. He appealed to the public not to let the domestic animals roam on the road.
Buffalos also create serious problems in the city. They move in groups on the road and create traffic hazards. “However, we have demarcated a place at Banthapalli to rehabilitate these buffalos,” said Ajit Kumar Mishra, sub collector.
“We are also planning to catch the stray dogs that create major problems in traffic and terrorise the public when they move in the city late at night. We are discussing details about the modalities of the operation to catch the stray dogs. We would follow the principles in other states,” added the BMC commissioner.
The BMC would seek help from a prescribed NGO under the guidelines of the Animal Welfare Board (AWB).
“The operational cost to catch the stray dogs would be borne equally by the AWB and BMC,” said Manseth.
“The cattle pound is a primitive concept and dates back to the 17th century.
Those days, cattle pounds were built in towns where stray cattle used to cause serious damage in unfenced gardens and pastures. Stray cattle were kept in the pound until the owner claimed them. It is a matter of great concern that even today citizens are compelling the civic authorities to construct cattle pound not for the sake of crops, but traffic congestion. The people must be aware of the situation,” said Subhasis Das, a resident of Nilachal Nagar.