30 May 2017 | Last updated 02:33 PM

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State government to give Rs 1 cr for cow shelters in each dist
Pandurang Mhaske | Friday, 14 April 2017 AT 11:32 PM IST
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Mumbai: Two years after the controversial move to ban beef across Maharashtra, the government has decided to set up permanent shelters in 34 districts for non-lactating and unproductive old cows to ensure they are not abandoned. The project, Govardhan Govansh Raksha Kendra, will get a one-time state financial aid of Rs 1 crore in each selected district and will be implemented through a non-government organisation. The NGOs will be selected based on minimum three years’ experience and commitment to the protection of cows.

“The new scheme ‘Govardhan Govansh Raksha Kendra’ to be established in 34 rural districts of Maharashtra for the rearing of non-lactating and unproductive cattle breed with the participation of NGOs and a one-time grant of Rs 1 crore will be provided for this project during this year,” said Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadeo Jankar.

The State believes NGOs committed to the cause can look after the cow/ cattle shelters and earn profits from products like dung and urine, which can be processed to form organic manure to be used by farmers.

Moreover, cow urine has medicinal value. The cow shelters will be connected to fields, depending on their geographical location. In some cases, they would make provisions for transporting the manure to other villages.

The decision of banning the killing of bull and bullocks attracted a lot of flak from farmers, who were unable to keep non-productive animals in the wake of the drought situation seen in the State. Despite promising to open cow shelters, the government took a year to announce the actual scheme. The ‘gorakshak kendras’ will help to conserve local indigenous breed of cattle. Currently, there are 518 cattle shelters in the State. All are run by non-government organisations (NGOs).

To start a goshala, the NGO or the individual must have 15 acres of land, for the subsidy it should be run for at least three years. The organisation must be registered with the Charity Commissioner. “The subsidy given by the government is only for the infrastructure of the goshala. The organisation can build the shed, barricades for the cattle farm. The PWD department will inspect the work and then the amount will be disbursed,” said an official from Animal Husbandry Department.

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