Chandigarh, May 16

Punjab Finance Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema and Local Government Minister Local Government Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar on Tuesday chaired an inter-ministerial meeting to jointly tackle the issue of the management of stray animals. The ministers discussed in detail the issues like conducting a statewide survey of stray animals, identifying new lands for Gaushalas, assisting social and religious organizations managing Gaushalas, taking concrete steps for the management of stray dogs and providing adequate funds for such activities.

During the meeting held here at Punjab Bhawan, the Finance Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema asked the Rural Development Department to identify available lands for setting up new Gaushalas (cowsheds). He said that a number of social and religious organizations were also managing the Gaushalas at their own level. He said that efforts were being made by the government to help these institutions financially to motivate others.

Finance minister asked the officials from Animal Husbandry department to conduct a survey of stray dogs and cattle in the state. He also asked the department to prepare an action plan regarding survey and implanting chip in the domestic animals. He further asked them to run a campaign to sterlise and vaccinate the stray animals.

Meanwhile, the Local Government Minister Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar stressed on the need to formulate a joint action plan by the department of Local Government and department of Rural development. He said that due to lack of land in urban areas, the Urban Local Bodies can work jointly with neighbouring rural panchayats to find land for jointly developing Gaushalas. He also suggested creation of a corpus fund for developing infrastructure and covering operational costs for Gaushalas. He said that joint efforts of these departments would also help in effective implementation of Animal Birth Control Programme.

Prominent amongst others, Principal Secretary Local Government Vivek Pratap Singh, Director Rural Development Gurpreet Singh Khaira and Special Secretary Finance Yashanjit Singh were also present in the meeting.

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