Fund crunch leads to death of 500 cows

Last Updated 15 February 2019, 19:50 IST

Around 500 cows have died in the Hingonia cattle rehabilitation due to an alleged delay in the deployment of funds by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation.

The operation and maintenance of the Hingonia cattle rehabilitation is done by the Akshay Patra Foundation.

The foundation has accused the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) for delay in the payment of the bills since October.

An amount of Rs 11.8 crore is due. The fodder at the gaushala was exhausted five days ago and the foundation has warned there may be a mass death of bovines if necessary steps are not taken.

However, after the issue caught attention, the Jaipur mayor has suspended the gaushala in-charge Rajendra Chittoriya and doctor Kamlesh Meena on Thursday night.

The JMC also sanctioned Rs 2.87 crore for purchasing fodder.

Sprawled over 1,200 acres of land, the Hingonia centre is a home to 25,000 stray bovines which are housed in 25 sheds.

The foundation requires approximately 2,500 metric tonne of fodder per month, which is worth Rs 1 crore. At present, the JMC pays funds on a per-day basis. An adult bovine gets Rs 70 for fodder and maintenance while a calf gets Rs 35.

According to a staffer at the Akshay Patra Foundation, there's been a scarcity of fodder for the last two months.

The welfare of cows has been a sensitive subject for both the BJP and the Congress, as both parties had mentioned it in the manifestos for the Assembly elections.

Former mayor and BJP MLA Ashok Lahoty told DH: The BJP, in its tenure, transformed the Hingonia Gaushyalaya into a tourism centre. We served our cows as we call them mata. The deaths have happened due to negliegence and excess of cows instead of lack of fodder".

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress has shed its responsibility by claiming that cow shelter comes under JMC and the Akshay Patra Foundation.

"Congress government has nothing to do with it. Its the agency (foundation) that looks after the animals and its the JMC that releases the funds," Archana Sharma, Congress spokesperson, told DH.

(Published 15 February 2019, 19:29 IST)

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