Goshala on land reserved for Indian Coast Guard Academy razed

After the district administration on Thursday razed a goshala (shelter for cattle) that operated on land earmarked for setting up the Indian Coast Guard Academy, the goshala owner alleged that the 250-odd cattle that were put up in the shelter were now stranded.

The Kapila Park Goshala had been operating for the past eight years on 19 cents of land in Kenjar, which is part of the 158 acres of land of the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board which has been earmarked for the proposed academy. Two months ago, a notice was issued to Prakash Shetty, the owner and trustee of the goshala, to vacate on the grounds that it was illegal. Around 250 cattle, including the native Kapila breed cattle, were at the goshala.

During a recent District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meeting, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, directed the district administration to clear the encroachment forthwith. MLA for Moodbidri Umanath Kotian had accused the goshala owner of indulging in sale of cattle.

On Thursday, personnel from the district administration came along with the local police and razed the shelter. There were comments on social media subsequently condemning Mr. Kateel and Mr. Kotian.

Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra said the district administration was ready to rehabilitate the cattle if a request was made by the goshala owner. “We are yet to receive a request from Mr. Shetty,” he said, adding that there was no question of paying any compensation as the goshala was operating illegally on government land. The administration arranged for fodder and water for the cattle on Thursday, he said.

Meanwhile, accusing the State government of acting against the welfare of cattle, Mr. Shetty said he was yet to recover from the shock of Thursday’s incident. “I am thinking of building a shelter on our land, which adjoins the land on which the goshala was located. I don’t have money to rebuild the shelter,” said Mr. Shetty, who is a businessman.

Denying allegations that he had built the goshala illegally, Mr. Shetty said there were records showing that he had legally purchased the land from the earlier owner. He also claimed that he managed the goshala using his own funds and had not taken any funds from the government. He sold a few head of cattle recently as he had to bear the expenses of taking care of the native breed of cattle, he added.

Rebutting comments on social media against him and Mr. Kateel, Mr. Kotian said the goshala owner had not agreed to the offer of providing alternative land for the cattle. “He has to relocate the cattle elsewhere. If he fails to do, the district administration will look after the cattle,” Mr. Kotian said.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 5:03:32 PM |

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