By Kshitiz Siwakoti, Kathamndu, Mar. 29: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has proposed to track the movement of domesticated cattle by strapping a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar onto their necks.
KMC has proposed this move to prevent cattle owners from abandoning their cattle on the streets once they fail to be economically productive to dairy farmers.
Very often than not it is the male calves and old cattle that are mercilessly sent away from their homes to fend for their own since they are incapable of providing farmers with milk.
The KMC Municipal Police Chief Dhanpati Sapkota said that the KMC has set out a target to complete this process by the end of May. Along with strapping a GPS collar onto their necks Ishwor Man Dangol, the Spokesperson of the KMC has said that KMC will ask all dairy farmers to register their cattle to tackle the issue of stray cattle crowding on the streets of Kathmandu.
Municipal Police Chief Sapkota said that the KMC from June 2018 to June 2019 had collected around 500 stray cows from the streets. “Normally we would sell the oxen to villages who were mostly used for ploughing the fields but now due to mechanisation of farming villagers rarely buy the cattle anymore,” Sapkota said.
However, Sapkota also mentioned that the KMC alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of clearing cattle out of the streets. All of the 18 municipalities within the Kathmandu valley need to take equal efforts toward this direction.
“We all know that much of the dairy farming happens out of the Kathmandu district but it so happens that most of the cows end up here in the city. We all need to make efforts to rid the valley of stray cattle from the streets,” Sapkota added.
Along with talking about the responsibility of farmers to look after their cattle, Sapkota also revealed to The TRN Online that the KMC has proposed to all the 18 municipalities within the valley on building a shelter for the abandoned cattle.
“We have plans to build a shelter for abandoned cattle but we are currently in talks with all the other municipalities within the valley to contribute towards building a shelter as this needs to a collective effort,” Chief Sapkota mentioned.
The issue of abandoned cattle is not just an issue for the KMC but also a traffic hassle for the Metropolitan Traffic Police of Kathamandu. Shyam Kumar Adhikari the spokesperson for the Metropolitan Traffic Police of Kathmandu said that stray cattle, dogs and cats are one of the major reasons for accidents to take place.
“How can stray cattle understand the traffic rules? They obstruct traffic by standing in the middle of the roads. Normally the traffic police chase them away but then they only go to another place to obstruct the traffic,” Adhikari said.
According to the data from the Metropolitan Traffic Police of Kathmandu, From June of 2019 to March 3rd week of 2021 there have been 12 accidents so far that were caused after colliding with stray cattle. Eight persons were injured as a result of those accidents. Further, it is also stray cattle that get injured in the process and unfortunately, they are mostly uncared for.
Adhikari also said that it is the responsibility of the owner of the cattle to make sure they aren’t left out on the streets.
It is unfortunate that cows, the national animal of the nation are left to fend for their own once they are no longer of economic value. One only needs to look at the streets of Kathamndu to realise the deplorable state of stray cattle and it is definitely an issue that needs our attention.
(Kshitiz Siwakoti is an intern with the TRN Online)