The problem of stray cattle, stray dogs and pigs on roads is not something new to the city. The more the city is made beautiful, the more stray animals can be seen roaming in the main roads of the city. These stray animal cause traffic jams and accidents. Their dung causes dirty roads, cluttered parks and clogged drains. They can take a nap anywhere, even in the middle of the road. Sometimes they get agitated and attack humans as well. These stray animals not only give an ugly impression to urban locality, also risk the chances of road accidents to a remarkable extent. These animals constantly eat food from garbage and leftovers and most of them are sick and not healthy as they do not live on grass and hygienic food.
Stray animals are creating a nuisance for the commuters and pedestrians as a large number of stray cattle and dogs roam on busy roads of the city. Many accidents have taken place due to stray cattle and the number of such victims is on the rise. Almost every road is struggling to cope up with the menace of stray cattle. The problem is especially severe in the evening, when the cattle are let free and invariably end up on the road.
The irony is we are fascinated that the Port Blair Airport has been declared as International airport and soon the city will be booming with foreign tourists and the Islands have embarked on the path to become the most sought after tourism destination in the World. Needless to say, the city is still confronted with problems such as stray animals menace.
Although most of these stray cows are actually left by owners because they do not have place to let their animals lose for gazing grass. Ideally these animals should be removed and sent to a forest where they can live their natural life. Before sending them to a preferred location they should be sterilized so that they cannot reproduce further. Creating shelters on outer city limits is a good idea which the authorities must seriously ponder over. All cattle should be fitted with some identification mark for identification purpose.
Strict penalty should be imposed on owners of these stray cattle. Efforts must also be made to impose responsible ownership among cattle keepers. The Port Blair Municipal Council must ensure that cattle owners do not let animals block traffic in busy roads. Traffic police should be involved to keep away stray cattle away from busy sections of the roads.
The Municipal Council has crores of rupees, but still it has not been able to effectively deal with the problem. Despite continuous cry by the city dwellers to curb the menace, the authorities have failed to do the needful. The stray cattle that are caught in the morning are left in the evening to be caught again in the morning.
NGO’s and private donors can also extend their helping hand to get rid of the problem. They can help by way of setting gaushalas in suburbs so that these cattle can found shelters. Appeal would be made to every temple, gurdwara and other religious institutions to donate funds for feeding the “helpless creatures”. The medical care would be provided by the veterinary department.
It is high time that all concerned must seriously ponder over this important issue to find a long-lasting solution to the problem.
Vijay Roy
M.Com, Diploma in Journalism
Port Blair, A & N Islands