Monday, January 31, 2005

Holy cow: Cattle makes daily traffic battle tougher

Holy cow: Cattle makes daily traffic battle tougher
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Very often while driving on a busy day, we encounter the holy cow and when you are late to work its all abuse from your boss. Who would you blame? The traffic jam or the unrelenting bovine? But you could still sneer at the way the Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) has dealt with the menace.

‘‘Stray cattle are a problem when I am driving to work in the Cantonment area, especially during the rush hour (9 a.m. and 11 a.m.). They plonk on roads and mess up the already terrible traffic system. They get up only if someone chases them away,’’ said Shreedhar, an employee of a private firm.

Charan, a chartered accountant, has had terrible experiences with cattle, especially during night. ‘‘Once, when I was returning from a late audit I crashed trying to avoid a cow at a turning near West of Chord Road and Basaveshwaranagar junction. Who would I curse, it was just a cow,’’ he said. ‘‘Do cattle owners understand that they are not supposed to be on the street in a developed city?’’ he asked.

It’s more likely that it’s their owners’ poverty that pushes these animals astray. Shaniyappa, in Jayanagar IX block, owns about 15 cattle heads and he said, ‘‘I cannot afford fodder, it’s easier if I let them astray to graze. I don’t know if they are a traffic hazard because I have been letting my cows out for three decades now.’’

Dr. Shashi Kumar, of the City Veterinary Hospital on Goods Shed Road said, ‘‘I have investigated into the matter of cattle ownership within the city and most of the old owners have not accepted urbanisation. I have known many families who own cows for religious reasons. We cannot stop them from living their lifestyle.’’ He finally added saying, ‘‘The growing city discourages cattle rearing, but there are areas like Koramangala and Chickpet where the problem is rampant.’’


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