GAYA: Gaya Municipal Corporation and Shree Gaya Gaushala, the 140-year-old shelter home for non- milch cows, will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the upkeep of abandoned cows.
Gaya district magistrate (DM) Abhishek Singh will facilitate the signing of the MoU in a few days. “Cows wandering on the streets are a traffic hazard,” said Singh.
The Gaushala, presently housing about 100 cows will be upgraded to accommodate about 1000 cows and additional sheds will be erected on its premises for the purpose. Confirming the proposal, the DM said in house health facility will be also arranged for the cows. Asked if other cattle too will be kept in the Gaushala, he said to begin with, only cows will be accommodated.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad state chief and vice president of the Gaushala committee Uday Kumar Verma said, “Established in 1888, the Gaushala was exclusively dedicated for ‘Gau Vansh’ (cow family). Separate arrangements can be made for other stray cattle,” said Verma.
Asked about the source of funding, the DM said in the past too, public donation had been the main source of funding. Animal husbandry department too would be approached to share the expenditure on Gaushala maintenance.
“In the long run, the Gaushala can be made self-reliant as it had extremely valuable property in the GMC area and if developed on commercial lines, the property was enough to make the Gaushala self-reliant,” DM Singh said.
According to Anup Kedia, former vice-president of the Shree Gaya Gaushala, in the 1990s, nearly 260 acres of land belonging to Gaya Gaushala was acquired by the government and it was subsequently allotted to the villagers. The acquisition was challenged in the high court. While upholding the land acquisition, the high court held that the Gaushala needed only 38 acres as pasture.
“The forest department, earlier planted 1.14 lakh trees on the Gaushala land and fully grown trees were illegally felled by the locals and no action was taken against the wrong doers,” alleged Kedia.
Till about four decades back, about 1000 cows found shelter in Gaurakshni, a registered organisation. Having lost the pasture, the Gaushala started decaying.
Earlier, according to Kedia, Gaya businessmen used to donate one anna (six paise) out of every hundred rupee turn over. The amount was more than sufficient to keep about 1000 cows. Except for some businessmen who make small donations, the practice has been abandoned.