Only 5 local bodies take benefits of the scheme; Department unaware of reasons for poor response
PANJIM: Even as the stray cattle menace in Goa continues to increase, many at times leading to accidents and fatalities, the local governing bodies – village panchayats and municipalities – appear to be least bothered in tackling the nuisance. Only five local bodies across the State have taken the benefit of the Stray Cattle Management Scheme, which was introduced in 2013 and later amended in 2015.
Under the scheme, envisaged by the department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, incentives are given to local bodies and animal welfare organisations to catch stray cattle from the road, beaches, fields and public places and shelter them. Incentives up to 100 percent are provided to the local bodies and NGOs towards shelter of these cattle.
Goa has 191 village panchayats and has 13 municipal councils and one City Corporation. However, only five local bodies – Mayem, Kitla and Naqueri-Betul panchayats and Valpoi and Quepem municipal councils – have availed of the scheme, since its inception.
Akhil Vishwa Jaisriram Gosamvardhan Kendra, in Nanus, Dhyan Foundation in Quepem, and Gomantak Gausevak Mahasangh at Mayem are the goshalas and an animal welfare organisation that have accepted the benefits of the scheme towards cattle feed, attendant salary and sheltering stray animals.
Speaking to Herald, Animal Husbandry Director Dr Santosh Desai said that they have received a new application from Ponda Municipal Council, which is under consideration. “It is very unfortunate that despite providing 100 percent subsidy on manpower, cattle feed, etc, panchayats and municipalities are not showing any interest towards the scheme,” he lamented.
The Director said that all kinds of awareness through the panchayat and municipal administration departments is being worked out to make the local bodies aware of the scheme. “We have asked the goshalas and welfare organisations and the local bodies to get into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) towards management of stray cattle,” Desai said.
The department is not in a position to spell out the reasons behind getting poor response to the scheme.
Desai said that it is mandatory for local bodies as per the provision existing under S-112(A) of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1993 and under Section 270 of the Goa Municipalities Act, 1990, to implement the provision relating to stray animals and construct cattle pounds in their respective areas.