State govt takes lead in setting up cow sanctuary

Ambika Sharma

After introducing a cess of Rs 1 on each bottle of liquor and enacting a legislation to  reserve 15 per cent annual earnings of all temple trusts in the state on cow sadans and gaushalas, the state government’s efforts to safeguard the cows seem serious.

Furthering this objective, the state’s first cow sanctuary is being set up on a site measuring 107.19 bigha at Kotla Barog in Pacchad constituency of Sirmaur district. This will provide cows their natural habitat, where they can move about and graze with ease as a departure from the mundane cow shelters.   

CM Jai Ram Thakur, who laid its foundation stone in July last year, paved the way for the project to take off. 

The HP Hindu Public  Religious Institutions and Charitable  Endowments Act was suitably amended to pave way for 15 per cent spending of temple trusts for cow sadans in April by the state government. This will ensure that such projects face no dearth of funds and, if successful, this venture can be replicated in other places as well.  

“The site is being developed into an ideal refuge which will provide shelter to the disabled, weak, stray and aged bovines and a committee headed by the local SDM will be constituted to overlook itsmanagement,” said Lalit Jain, DC, Sirmaur, who initiated this project. He said at least 500 cows can be housed in the sanctuary. To ensure that the cow sanctuary fulfills all basic requirements, a proper plan was formulated after identifying this land among several other sites. Drawings of the project were finalised by the senior architect of the Himachal Housing and Urban Development Authority and duly approved by the Department of Animal Husbandry, which is the parent department executing this project.

Work was finally initiated last month after seeking technical sanction of the project in October last year and is expected to be completed in the next couple of months.

The initial project cost has been pegged at Rs 1.52 crore and the Gau Samvardhan Board, state government as well as the temple trust of Trilokpur Temple are funding the project.