Delhi

Delhi streets to be cattle-free ahead of Obama’s Republic Day visit

The SDMC has started the exercise hoping to send as many strays as possible to the three cow shelters.— Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

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South Delhi’s streets are being cleared off stray cattle before U.S. President Barack Obama visits the Capital to attend the Republic Day Parade on January 26. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has started the exercise recently, hoping to send as many strays as possible to the three gaushalas (cow shelters) it works with.

The Leader of the House in the SDMC, Radhey Shyam Sharma, said the civic body was paying the NGOs that run the shelters Rs.15 lakh per month as feeding charges for the cattle.

“We are spending so much money to take care of the cattle so we want to be able to use the gaushalas better. I have ordered officials to catch the stray cattle and send them to the shelters,” said Mr. Sharma.

When asked why the civic body had taken this step now, Mr. Sharma said: “It’s not like we are doing anything special, but even if someone comes to our homes, we tidy it up.”

In his speech during the Budget session last month, Standing Committee chairperson Subhash Arya had said the civic body had relocated 1,883 animals to the gaushalas in this financial year. Leaders in the BJP-led Corporation had admitted that not enough stray cattle were being sent to the gaushalas. In addition, the SDMC has been late in making payments to the shelters this past financial year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sharma said the ongoing work under the Swachh Bharat campaign was enough and no extra cleanliness and beautification works would be carried out in the run-up to Mr. Obama’s visit. The U.S. President will travel through the SDMC area on his way from the airport to a hotel in Central Delhi, where the New Delhi Municipal Council has started making its own arrangements.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2017 1:46:01 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-streets-to-be-cattlefree-ahead-of-obamas-rday-visit/article6765903.ece