BULL RUSH ON CITY STREETS
Bhubaneswar, Aug. 21: Cattle menace has acquired alarming proportions here with a bull goring an advocate to death at Badagada yesterday. The civic authorities have failed to curb the free movement of bovines on city roads.
Residents alleged that walking or driving on the streets have become a nightmarish experience with bulls often fighting on the streets and stray cattle blocking traffic.
The phenomenon has led to an increase in the frequency of accidents. A traffic police official said that every month they have been getting over 100 complaints about stray cattle triggering accidents on the roads.
While 57-year-old lawyer Surya Narayan Mishra died in a bull attack at Badagada, two months ago another commuter had lost his life in a similar incident at the CRP Square.
The Telegraph visited various city areas, including busy traffic squares for a reality check. At most of these places the cattle were seen either munching away happily on the roads or sleeping nonchalantly forcing vehicles to make diversions. While at some places, bulls locked their horns and it was enough to scare away motorists.
Residents were livid and blamed the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation for failing to check bovine menace on the city roads.
Soumendra Mepak, a resident of Kharavela Nagar, said with the animals roaming freely it was tough for anyone to drive, especially at night. “If one is slightly unmindful while driving at night, running into a bull is not unlikely. Once I met with an accident when a bull jumped in front of my bike at the Ram Mandir Square,” said Mepak.
Though the corporation has been trying to catch stray cattle from the roads, the capacity of the city's only kine house at Kharavela Nagar is too small compared to the number of these animals.
The corporation, which was earlier collecting Rs 100 as fine from the owners of the animals causing traffic menace, has given the state government a proposal to increase the penalty to Rs 500. Though the proposal is still pending with the government, the corporation has informally started charging errant owners Rs 500.
Corporation authorities said the kine house in Kharavela Nagar is only meant for stray cows and calves, but bulls could not be confined there. “We are also short of staff and have only one vehicle at our disposal. Besides, catching bulls is not easy,” said civic commissioner Sanjib Mishra.
The mayor had earlier said that the corporation was planning to set up a kine house for bulls at Patia with the help of an NGO. However, the promise is yet to materialise.
“We had applied to the general administration department for land for the purpose, but are yet to get it,” said mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.
Several councillors also echoed their disgust and according to them the number of bulls in the city would be more than 1,200.
A councillor said that most of these bulls stray into the city from neighbouring places such as Cuttack.