Cattle Bill bull-dozed, govt bows to pressure

Ahmedabad Mirror | 5 days ago | 22-09-2022 | 06:00 am

Cattle Bill bull-dozed, govt bows to pressure

Bowing to pressure from the powerful Maldhari community, the State Assembly on Wednesday unanimously withdrew the ‘Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas’ Bill. The Bill was intended to keep a check on movement of stray cattle on roads and public places in urban areas of the state. It was passed in March during the budget session of the Assembly.Minister of state for urban development Vinod Moradiya announced the withdrawal of the cattle Bill. The proposal was passed unanimously with the support of opposition Congress. After a marathon session of nearly 10 hours it was sent to the Governor for approval in April, but he returned it to the government urging it to reconsider and make necessary amendments.Before the proposal was moved in the House, Speaker Nima Acharya informed the members that the Bill was returned by the Governor on September 17. She read out the Governor’s message which stated that “he had received representations from the Maldhari community (cattle rearers) against the Bill. Cattle rearing is part of our life. Therefore, in view of the representations, the governor said he is returning it for reconsideration and for making necessary amendments.”The Bill mandated a license to keep animals such as cows and bulls in cities and towns and get them tagged, failing which they may face imprisonment. The move was opposed by cattle owners who termed it a ‘black Act’ and had launched agitation just two days ahead of the Assembly session.The Bill document said if the owners fail to get cattle tagged in 15 days, they would be punished with imprisonment which may extend up to one year or a penalty of Rs 10,000 or both. The sale of fodder for cattle in non-designated areas in cities was also prohibited. According to the Bill, persons who assault officials or create hurdles during cattle impounding operations, would be punished with one year of imprisonment and a minimum fine of Rs 50,000.HC had ordered eviction of cattle from roadsThe Gujarat High Court had taken a strong stand on stray cattle moving on the roads. In its order on August 25, Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice A J Shastri had directed Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to take stray cattle off the roads in the state. The HC had also directed AMC to nominate two officials to oversee the drive against cattle menace. The AMC had taken up the drive but slowed it down recently. Now, with withdrawal of the cattle control Bill, the situation is likely to remain the same as before with stray cattle moving freely on roads.Injured Nitin Patel attends HouseFormer finance minister and senior BJP MLA Nitin Patel came to House with a walking stick as he has got injuries on his foot . Patel was hit by a stray cow in his hometown during a function and was severely injured. He was in hospital for a few days. When Patel arrived, Education Minister Jitu Vaghani stood up and complimented him for making his way to the Assembly despite being injured. Incidentally the Assembly decided to withdraw the stray cattle bill which prevents cattle from moving on roads.

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