Residents want stray cattle to be moved outside Chennai limits

Saidapet, Triplicane, Vyasarpadi, Koyambedu and Nanganallur are some of the localities where the menace of cows and buffaloes is rampant

Updated - January 25, 2021 03:08 pm IST

Published - January 25, 2021 02:39 am IST - CHENNAI

Persistent problem:  Cattle roaming around a street in Triplicane.

Persistent problem: Cattle roaming around a street in Triplicane.

Cows and buffaloes roaming on the streets and eating from garbage bins are a common sight in many areas in the city.

Saidapet, Triplicane, Vyasarpadi, Koyambedu and Nanganallur are just some of the localities where residents constantly complain about the issue but to no avail. They are demanding that the cattle be moved outside the city limits.

Four injured

In the past two weeks, at least four persons in Triplicane suffered fractures after being hit by cattle charging through the narrow streets of the area. One incident happened during a religious procession recently.

“One man has been hospitalised. We would easily have around 150 cows on Mada Street. Nagoji Rao Street has a layer of cow dung on the tar, and people are afraid to walk on it. If we go to complain to the police, some 10 people try to influence us and we finally end up returning home without filing a formal complaint,” said T.J. Ramani, a resident.

Venkatrangam Pillai Street and Pycrofts Road too have cattle and though the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) tried to move the cattle to the MRTS track a few years ago, it did not work.

It is the two-wheeler riders who are most affected by the cattle on the streets. At Vyasarpadi, where cattle roam around in the dark, streets with poor illumination are death traps for two-wheeler riders. “A cow could suddenly appear in your path and you won’t even have time to apply the brakes. Long ago, a Corporation Commissioner had taken steps to remove cattle sheds from inside the city. But after he left, they came back,” recalled Shyamala, a resident.

Children scared

In West Saidapet, cows usually lie on the road, forcing two-wheeler riders to go around them while cars are forced to honk and make them move, said V. Ramanathan, a resident. “Children are afraid to go out on bicycles because of the cows. Complaints to the Corporation go unheeded. We have never seen the cattle van in our locality,” he lamented.

At Virugambakkam, buffaloes freely roam around Kaliamman Koil Street and the roads around the Koyambedu vegetable and fruit markets. “There is a settlement of people who rear cattle near the grade separator and these come from there. Only when they are disturbed, they charge at you. Otherwise, they just eat trash,” said Arumainathan, a resident.

Corporation sources said the number of heads of cattle impounded by them had reduced from 650 in 2019-20 to 210 as of December 2020 due to the restrictions imposed because of the pandemic.

The fine collected from cattle owners had reduced from ₹65 lakh to ₹18.5 lakh in 2020. The civic body has been receiving 100 complaints pertaining to cattle every month. As many as 20,000 heads of cattle are being reared in the 15 zones of the city. The fine for each stray animal is ₹10,750.

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