In a significant move to address the problem of stray animals in urban areas, the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has announced that efforts will be made to catch these animals as this issue will now be included in the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) by bringing changes in the mission’s scope.
“The ministry has made necessary provisions and modifications to the mission’s scope to address this pressing concern. The new arrangement involves the acquisition of cattle catcher vehicles to effectively capture stray animals,” Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri told The Pioneer.
Puri was in Lucknow to address the media on the achievements of nine years of the Narendra Modi Government.
“Additionally, a comprehensive campaign will be launched in every district, spanning at least 25 days each month, to apprehend these animals. The target is to capture a minimum of 10 animals daily, amounting to a total of at least 250 animals per month,” he said.
The decision to address the issue of stray animals stems from the recognition that their presence contributes significantly to the uncleanliness of cities. In fact, they have been identified as a major cause of backwardness and environmental degradation during cleanliness surveys. To combat this problem, the ministry has devised a plan to capture stray animals and relocate them to animal shelter centers or kanji houses, thus effectively managing their presence within the purview of solid waste management.
The first phase of this initiative will be rolled out in 139 major cities, including all municipal corporations and large municipalities in Uttar Pradesh. The government has allocated an initial installment of Rs 24.32 crore to facilitate the execution of this program. Subsequently, the plan will be extended to selected cities across the country.
To ensure smooth implementation, each district will designate a nodal agency responsible for capturing stray animals within its jurisdiction. This agency will oversee all aspects related to the procurement of vehicles and the management of animals.
Moreover, the nodal agency will establish a roster system to guarantee the regular availability of vehicles in all districts. Cattle catcher vehicles obtained through the mission will be made available for rental purposes as well. The district magistrate of each respective district will determine the rates for acquiring vehicles from the nodal agency and establish rental rates and the roster schedule.
“The inclusion of stray animals in the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) is a step in the right direction to address the challenges posed by their presence in cities. By effectively capturing and relocating these animals, the government aims to mitigate the adverse effects they have on cleanliness and environmental well-being.
Puri expressed hope that through meticulous planning and effective execution, this initiative will significantly contribute to enhancing urban areas, thereby ensuring cleaner and healthier living conditions for residents.