The Delhi government Friday gave an assurance before the Delhi High Court that cows succumbing to lumpy skin disease will be provided with a dignified burial, in a plea seeking a direction to the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to take remedial steps to eliminate lumpy skin disease in cows in the capital.
Referring to the burial of cows dying due to the disease, petitioner Ajay Gautam said before a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad that in the name of “scientific disposal, cows are being skinned”. The counsel appearing for the Delhi government assured the bench that cows will be provided with a “dignified burial without hurting the sentiments of people”.
Gautam said he appreciates the “paperwork done by the respondent-state”, however the ground reality is something else. He submitted that while waiting for the matter in court today, he tried the helpline number issued by the government, which went unanswered.
The counsel appearing for the Delhi government assured that more numbers will be added and operators will be placed to answer all such calls. On the issue of ambulances for the infected cows, Gautam said there are only two ambulances available for the entire city. To this, the counsel for the government submitted that steps will be taken to increase the number of ambulances.
On the point of separate burial ground for cows dying due to the disease, Gautam said there is no information to show that land has been identified by the government for the burial of infected cows.
He further submitted that often when people are unable to get through the helpline number, they contact local gaushalas (shelters), NGOs and sometimes police for burial of infected cows.
The counsel for the government said land has been identified and all efforts are being made in this regard. The court directed the Delhi government to contact all private gaushalas to ensure that cows succumbing to the disease are brought to the place exclusively earmarked for their burial.
The petitioner sought that the central government and Delhi Police be made a party to the petition. Listing the matter on December 14, the court issued notices to the Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Delhi Police which was accepted by their respective counsel and they were directed to file their response.
The petitioner has sought that the Delhi government and MCD be directed to immediately constitute a team of veterinary doctors in every zone of the city to deal with cases of lumpy skin disease. The petition further prays that the respondents be directed to set up lumpy care units/ isolation wards in all zones/districts of Delhi for medical treatment of infected cows.