PBMC’s cattle pound faces resource crunch to contain the menace

‘Cattle Cry’ by traffic on Dollygunj roads
Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
22 Nov 2017

Dollygunj residents, motorists on Dollygunj roads and establishments are facing massive problems caused by one of the most benign and docile of all animals - the cow! The bovine kind in large numbers squat stonedeaf to revving vehicles, their horns or are found crossing at a leisurely pace to exasperated motorists and pedestrians alike. In groups they make the entrances of shops and offices their make shift homes, defecating and spreading their precious dung all over and making the roads a slippery deal.
Besides sounding caution at regular intervals, Port Blair Municipal Corporation has constructed a Cattle Pound to contain the menace at Dollygunj, but that too has failed to serve as a deterrent to livestock owners from letting their animals use the public places as their own bastion. The menace has caused accidents, injuring many from time to time and stalled traffic harrying office goers, soiled many a shiny place with their anytime-soil and are they are going strong day by day with their numbers growing at a fast clip.
Owners of the cattle are equally to blame according to the citizens of Dollygunj, who are unconcerned about their livestock in public places. If impounded by PBMC and incarcerated in the Cattle Pounds, the owners of milch cows come rushing, pay the Rs 500 fine and take them away as they are a source of their income. But, if they are oxen, old or ill, their owners are nowhere to be seen.
Talking to the caretaker, our reporter found that days together owners of such cattle do not come at all. The caretaker can only feed the impounded cattle with grass and water, which is not sufficient even to his knowledge. The pound has a limited capacity and source of funds, so it has become a problem for the PBMC too. It has been noticed at times, owners take back their cattle paying a fine, but next day again you find them on the roads. The old and infirm cattle lay unclaimed for days together. There was an instance when one of them died in the pound. Some say the death was caused due to starvation, but the caretaker blames it on its ill health. The dead cow’s owner said that he came after 5 days due to paucity of funds to pay the fine, and that the caretaker did not feed the cow letting it die of hunger.
As the three-way blame game is on between the harassed citizens, the insensitive (at times victim) cattle owners and PBMC, suggestions from common folk are pouring in. “Auction the animals after a time limit at the pound,” scream some. “Strict action against the owners of cattle that send their animals on a leash-less tour,” advocate some. “PBMC has to take sterner steps regarding this public nuisance,” say some. In the mean time, the bovine brigade is having a ball on the roads of Dollygunj, unaware of the ‘Cattle Cry’ caused by them and their lumbering comrades.