To tackle the menace of stray cattle, the Haryana government has decided to establish around 40 ‘gau abhayaranyas’ (cow sanctuaries) in the state in a phase-wise manner.

Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister O P Dhankar on Tuesday told the state Assembly the state has a livestock population of 89.98 lakh, of which 18.08 lakh are cattle, according to 2012 census.

He said around 1.17 lakh out of these – 85,000 are in rural areas and 32,000 are in urban areas – are stray cattle and for accommodating them 40 gau-abhayaranyas would be required.

Replying to a calling Attention Notice of MLA Hari Chand Midha and 15 other legislators, he said facilities for drinking water, sheds, boundary wall, veterinary hospital, store for fodder, office, accommodation for attendants, tube wells, power backup are proposed to be created at the gau-abhayaranyas.

“To tackle the problem of stray cattle, the government has decided to establish gau-abhayaranyas at various places in the state. These gau-abhayaranyas are to be established over an area of about 50 to 100 acres of land,” he said.

In order to accomplish this objective, the government has started identifying and earmarking land pools, Dhankar said.

The cost of civil works, machinery and equipment for one ‘abhyarana’ will be Rs 4.30 crore, he further said.

These Gau-Abhayaranyas shall be operated by District Cattle Welfare Society headed by the Deputy Commissioner concerned and the Society would have two Committees- Governing Committee and Executive Committee.

“Due to economic reasons, farmers leave their animals when they become unproductive because of which the number of stray animals increases. These stray animals in rural areas cause damage to the crops and in urban areas cause accidents and problems for road traffic,” he said.

Giving the details of the gaushalas in the state, Dhankar said Haryana has a network of 408 Gaushalas housing 3,06,490 animals. Of these 392 are registered and 16 are unregistered. There are 3,04,833 animals in registered Gaushalas and 1,657 in unregistered ones.

They are being managed by various societies or trusts, which are registered with the Registrar, Firms and Societies, Haryana, under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, he said.

“The state government does not have any administrative control over these Gaushalas except Kamdhenu Nandi Gaushala, Karterpuri (Gurugram), which is being managed by Municipal Corporation, and Gauraksha Sadan, Mawai and Nandi Gaushala, Uncha Gaon which are being managed by Municipal Corporation, Faridabad,” he told the Assembly.
The Gau Seva Aayog has been reconstituted by Government for the preservation and welfare of cows in the State, he said in his reply.

To provide adequate financial aid to Gaushalas, a grant-in-aid of Rs 9.20 crores for the year 2015-16 and Rs 20 crores for the year 2016-17 has been provided by the Government to Gau Seva Aayog in the budget.