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Drive against stray cattle

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, MAY 22 . Aimed at making the Capital "stray cattle-free", the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has decided to launch a massive drive against illegal and unauthorised dairies in the city from May 27. The drive is being launched at the direction of the Delhi High Court.

The Municipal Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, said stray cattle were a major source of pollution in the Yamuna. There are about 3,500 illegal dairies in the Capital and some 35,000 stray cattle which empty an estimated 700 tonnes of dung into the Yamuna through the sewage system every day.

The MCD has prepared an action plan and a Task Force, comprising officials from water and power utilities besides the MCD, has been set up for the purpose. From May 27, the Task Force accompanied by a strong contingent of police would be moving around the Capital.

To begin with, power and water supply to these dairies would be disconnected. Then the cattle would be lifted in special vehicles and taken to three temporary gosadans, which the MCD has recently set up on the outskirts of the city at Khanjawala, Ghoga and Baprola. "The very next day these cattle would be auctioned between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.," he said.

The civic body has already launched an awareness drive in the villages and mandis of the neighbouring States and has been distributing pamphlets so that the cattle are auctioned in time. Anticipating tough resistance from the strong lobby of illegal dairy owners, Mr. Mehta said: "This time round the illegal dairies do not have any other option, but to leave the Capital. We are prepared for any eventuality, but we would not allow stray cattle in Delhi anymore."

Mr. Mehta said the drive would be carried out every Monday and Thursday and cattle auctioned the very next day. He hoped that once the drive was launched and the dairy owners get to know that they can no longer run their business in Delhi, they would start leaving the Capital for the neighbouring States. The MCD has already urged the dairy owners to vacate the place on their own before May 27 so as to avoid any inconvenience or any economic loss.

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