Rajasthan is all set to have its first ever ‘cow sanctuary’, a shelter for 10,000 bovines in Bikaner district.
Spread over an area of more than 250 hectares of land, the ruling BJP government in the state inked a MoU with Mohanlal Buladevi Ojha Gaushala, a private trust, to develop the cow sanctuary in Napasar in Bikaner district.
With department aiming to draw tourist attention to the sanctuary, Ashok Vij, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry, Bikaner said, "The allotted land can accommodate around 10,000 cattle. Even stray animals, including abandoned ones, will be allowed in the proposed facility".
Further describing the sanctuary, Gopalan minister Otaram Dewasi said, "It will be made on the lines of a wildlife sanctuary and will be managed by a private trust." The sanctuary will also have Sewan grass (best quality fodder for cows).
This will be country's second cow sanctuary after ‘Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya’ sanctuary set up by the BJP government in September 2017 in Madhya Pradesh’s Agar Malwa district. Spread over 472 hectares, the sanctuary was developed by the MP Gau Samvardhan Board in Salaria village.
Other cow initiatives
This move is the latest in a list of initiatives announced by the BJP government in the state for the protection of cows since it came to power in 2013. The announcement of the sanctuary comes exactly a month after the state government levied a 20% surcharge on stamp duty towards cow protection.
Earlier in 2017, the state had announced a 10 percent surcharge on stamp duty towards cow protection. In 2015, Rajasthan had become the first state to have a separate department and ministry for the welfare of cows.
Moreover, Rajasthan government is also planning to come up with Bull safari for the visitors at Hingonia Gaushala, the biggest Gaushala with approximately 20,000. The tourists visiting the desert state will now be able to see the cattle of cows, buffaloes and bulls roaming around in the open grounds.