Tiruchi Corporation would soon establish four animal shelters in the city to provide safe accommodation for stray animals impounded from city roads.
The centres, one in each zone, will be opened to ensure safe custody of impounded cattle which affect vehicular movement. The shelters would also pave the way to intensify and sustain the drive to prevent accidents due to stray cattle.
Only one safe shelter is available across the city at Konakkarai in Zone V to house around 75 seized cattle at a time; the animals are cared for until their owners pay the fine and retrieve them. A designated staff is also appointed to oversee the shelter.
According to the officials, the civic body’s property will be utilised to shelter around 50 cattle at a time in each of the four centres. “We have identified sites in the four zones, and once the sites are finalised, shelters would be set up within a month,” said a senior Corporation official.
The lack of space at the shelter was cited as the reason for the stray cattle menace to continue. By establishing more shelters, authorities said the stray cattle menace would be dealt with periodically. “After setting up the shelters, a synchronised drive would be conducted across the 65 wards to seize the animals from the roads and shift them to the shelter,” he said.
Since the Corporation takes care of the cattle, the owners choose not to pay the fine to retrieve their cattle, leaving the civic body to bear the cost of maintaining the cattle heads. “Many cattle owners have not paid the fine, but they nevertheless often stop by the shelter to ensure the welfare of their animals. As a result, the shelter is mostly full and can not accommodate additional cattle heads,” the official added.