Noida may be the most modern industrial township of UP milking the highest amount of taxes for the state, but it is still battling a most basic problem of urban setting – stray cattle.
Herds of cows and bulls roam the streets of the city consuming and strewing garbage, blocking traffic on major intersections and even causing accidents off and on. While residents try and keep a distance from their bovine co-habitants, authorities, it seems, have no policy to tackle this menace.
Sector 15-A is considered the poshest colony of Noida. Yet, it is not without its share of the bovine menace. Girija Singh, joint secretary, sector 15 RWA says, “At least 10-15 cows and bulls can be found squatting in our sector at any time of the day. Sometimes they break into a fight, damage the greenery and also chase people. We have had an incident of a small girl being gored to death a few years back and are still scared for our children.”
“We know it for a fact,” she adds, “that truck loads of stray cattle are brought in from Delhi and dumped here during night time. It is done so because stray cattle are not allowed in the Capital city, but are Noida residents supposed to be immune to animals?”Mukesh Parmar, a resident of Sector 35, Noida points out, “Another reason for the rampant bovine presence in Noida is its proximity to several dairy farms. Noida is close to several villages – sector 35 to the large Gharoli dairy farm, the initial few sectors to Naya Bans gaon and the outer areas to rural areas like Ghijore and Hoshiyarpur. So, cattle owners just leave their non-milk yielding, old or infirm cattle to roam around in Noida.”A major cause for such abandoned farm animals to be attracted to Noida is also its abundance of domestic waste – free food for the cattle. Shiv Murthy of sector 21 says, “Noida has no arrangement of door-to-door waste collection which translates into dumping grounds in every vacant plot and on the road side. So, you can see cows gorging and scattering waste everywhere including the roads.”
“Right from Rajnigandha to sector 12-22 chowk, stray cattle moves about on the roads, sits on traffic intersections and dividers, halts traffic and even causes accidents. Last year, a media professional was run over by a car when he was trying to escape some bulls.”
Notably, the Noida Authority has no cow shelter to keep the stray cattle caught by it off and on. A group of concerned citizens runs a cow shed in Sector 94 called Shreejee Gausadan where such bovines are kept. Its president Manoj Mittal shares, “The maintenance and treatment of aged and sick cows costs us lakhs every month. However, we are not complaining about the funds. The larger issue is of the number of cows coming in every day. We are bursting at the seams.”
When Metrolife contacted the Public Health Department of Noida Authority, project engineer RS Yadav informed us, “We are doing as much as we can but farmers these days don’t care about their livestock. They just leave their cows to survive on filth. Not even many come back to claim the old ones, so the fine is almost useless. It’s a social problem. Unfortunately, both humans and animals are caught in it.”