Published On: July 29, 2017 10:00 AM NPT By: Santosh Subedi

Roaming cattle cause traffic chaos in Pokhara

Roaming cattle cause traffic chaos in Pokhara

Pokhara: Though unmanaged infrastructures and narrow roads are common reasons for traffic congestion, cattle roaming on the roads have been adding to the traffic woes in the Lake City. The lack of management by authorities concerned has been attributed to the haphazard abandonment of cattle.

Even after several attempts, Pokhara-Leknath Metropolitan City has failed to control the traffic congestion caused due to these roaming animals. Locals complain that these roaming cattle spread trash dumped along roadsides, pollute the areas and steal food from the vendors.

Meanwhile, the recently imposed no horn rule is said to have caused havoc as drivers are unable to chase away the cattle lying around the roads. The locals are concerned that the failure to manage the roaming cattle will lead to increased road accidents.

Though Pokhara-Leknath Metropolitan City in coordination with the District Traffic Police Office, Kaski has been organizing campaigns every year to remove and manage the roaming cattle, the results are barely fruitful.

Traffic Chief of Pokhara, Bishwo Raj Adhikari, stated that initiatives were being taken to control haphazard abandonment of cattle. “The work of restraining animals on the roads is underway. It might take some time to bring everything under control,” said Bishwo Raj, adding, “The animals that were taken under control have been kept at the Kanji House in Shantiban.” He also stated that the scenario had led to an increased number of road accidents. “We have been recording at least one accident in three-four days caused due to the roaming cattle. More accidents take place during dawn.”

Bishwo Raj said he did not know where exactly the animals came from, but stated that they were most probably roaming by rural farmers. “The farmers tend to abandon their cattle in the streets once the animals have aged and are unable to produce milk.”
These roaming cattle have also been a bane to passersby. People are scared of such cattle lying around the streets. “The animals have also caused problems like flipping moving vehicles and hitting passersby. The problem, however, is not new,” Bishwo Raj said.

Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan Police Chief, Basanta Chalise, attributed the inability to abolish this persisting problem to local people’s ignorance. He added that the problem continued to exixt even after several campaigns and awareness programs.

“Though we’ve sent some discarded animals to the Kanji house, the roads are still filled with roaming cattle,” added Basanta. He said they were unable to transport all the roaming cattle to the Kanji house for want of enough vehicles.

“You can find at least two-three cattle roaming in one place. It becomes difficult for us to fit all of them in a single vehicle,” he said, adding that it might have been an easier task if they could collect all deserted animals at once.

He added that those who come to take back their roaming cattle from the Kanji house are fined Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000. He said the minimal fine amount was not helpful to curb the problem.

As per the Local Self Governance Act 2055 rule number 96, stray animals are caught and auctioned later. Despite the existence of such rule, feeble implementation has encouraged the act of cattle abandonment.

However, Mayor of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City, Man Bahadur GC, informed that government bodies are working to introduce a tag system that will help the authorities to keep tab on the roaming cattle.

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