Ludhiana, November 28
As the winter fog returns to the region, chances of accidents involving stray cattle on roads rise sharply, especially with a large number of stray animals moving freely within and outside the city limits.
As per a study conducted by the Punjab Road Safety and Traffic Research Centre (PRSTRC), 87 persons were killed in road accidents involving stray animals in the district in the past three years.
The possibility of more such incidents cannot be discounted as the authorities are yet to take concrete measures to shift stray cattle to shelters from different areas of the district. It is also important to highlight that numerous stray animals have either died or sustained injuries in road mishaps, even though there is a lack of proper documented records.
Among prominent accidents involving cattle this year, a 50-year-old man lost his life near Pawat village in Samrala in March when a stray cattle reportedly barged in front of his car. When he suddenly applied the brakes, a speeding truck hit his car in the rear. In another road mishap that occurred in January, an official of a sugar mill lost his life when his car hit the carcass of a cow lying on Chandigarh Road near Samrala.
In Ludhiana, stray cows and bulls are a common sight on Hambran Road, Haibowal, Rishi Nagar, Tajpur Road, Bahadur Ke Road, Rahon Road, Chandigarh Road, Sua Road Jawaddi and many other areas despite the matter being raised by residents multiple times in the past. The situation is similar on various highways in the district.
Gaurav Bhatti, a resident of Urban Estate on Chandigarh Road, related how a man sustained an eye injury in a road accident involving a stray bull. He said that despite previous occurrences of road mishaps involving stray cattle and attacks, many stray cows and bulls still freely wander across Chandigarh Road. Notably, in 2021, a 10-year-old child was attacked by a stray bull in the old Ward 23. Following this incident, then councillor Sandeep Kumari raised the matter with the Municipal Corporation, but no concrete measures were taken to prevent such incidents.
Jagjeet Singh Mann, president of Watawaran Sambhal Society, said that numerous accidents involving stray cattle have been reported this year. Additionally, a number of persons have been subjected to attacks by stray cattle. In view of the foggy weather conditions, Mann emphasised the urgent need for the MC and other relevant departments to implement necessary measures to shift stray cattle to shelters. He said that foggy weather reduces visibility and increases the risk of mishaps.
In February this year, the MC had initiated a campaign to shift stray cattle from Hambran Road in the vicinity of the sub-registrar’s office. Nevertheless, as of Tuesday, stray cattle were still observed wandering the main Hambran Road.
An official of MC, however, claimed that 1,099 stray cattle have been shifted to shelters or gaushalas from January 1 to October 17 this year. MC Joint Commissioner Kulpreet Singh did not answer any phone calls.
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