Chennai’s Triplicane residents grapple with stray cattle menace on their streets

Cattle seen on the streets of Triplicane

Cattle seen on the streets of Triplicane   | Photo Credit: S. R. Raghunathan

For several years now, residents of Triplicane have been grappling with the problem of stray cattle on their streets.

Though the Chennai Corporation has introduced a slew of restrictions, cattle owners continue to let their animals roam freely on almost every road in the locality. The availability of vegetable waste and leftovers dumped by vegetable vendors or other street vendors also attracts the stray cattle, and the streets have virtually become a grazing ground, said residents.

Stray cattle pose a grave threat to the lives of motorists and pedestrians using the road. The cattle can be seen taking a nap in the middle of the road causing traffic snarls. On innumerable occasions, the sudden and unpredictable surge of these animals has led to serious injuries for motorists and pedestrians.

There have been instances when, during the procession of the deity Swami Purappadu on Mada Streets, senior citizens who participate in these procession chanting sacred hymns have been injured due to stray cattle.

T.J. Ramani, a resident of Triplicane said, “The problems are acute especially near the main market area at Gangai Kondan Mandapam, T.P Koil Street Singararachari Street and Big Street and East Tank Square Street. Traffic congestion is already heavy in the busy market place (near Gangai Kondan Mandapam) due to encroachments, haphazard parking of vehicles and an increasing number of vehicles. The situation becomes even worse when cattle occupy the roads.”

“There are several private cow sheds in the small lanes near the temple. The sheds do not have adequate space to accommodate all the animals. Mostly, these cows are let loose lack of space and they also block the entrances of houses,” said Y. Narasimman, another resident.

Stray cattle pull down the huge garbage bins kept on the roads, resulting in the garbage getting spilled all over. Until the garbage is cleaned by sanitary workers, road users are forced to step on the litter and waste.

Whenever the residents call the helpline number and complain about the stray cattle, the Chennai Corporation sends a vehicle to impound the cattle and fine the cattle owners. But the cattle owners somehow get information and withdraw their cattle before the vehicle arrives. There have been instances when the officials trying to discharge their duty have been chased away, residents say.

T.A. Sampathkumar, president of Srinivas Young Men’s Association, said, ”Our association has been representing this issue for the past several years to Corporation officials and we have participated in many meetings organised by the Corporation to tackle the stray cattle menace.

“We residents met the then Mayor in January 2015 and brought the issue to his attention and the Mayor took the initiative and constructed a spacious shed beneath the MRTS track. All the facilities required to rear cattle were provided in that shed. The solution was to shift the cattle to a place demarcated exclusively for this purpose. Though a few cattle owners started using this shed from February 2015 onwards, the problem of stray cattle persists because all do not use it,” said Mr. Sampathkumar.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 10:49:50 PM |

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