Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today inaugurated Gau Sadan at Sunni in Shimla Rural Vidhan Sabha area today virtually from Shimla, which has been constructed by spending an amount of Rs. 2.22 crore.
Chief Minister said that the State Government has constituted Himachal Pradesh Gau Seva Ayog to provide shelter to the destitute cows roaming on the roads and to make arrangements for their fodder and management. He said that according to the recently conducted 20th Animal Census of the Government of India, there were 36,311 destitute animals across the state. He said that the State Government has released Rs. 31.16 crore during this period for the establishment and strengthening of cow sanctuaries and Gau Sadans in different parts of the State.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the very first decision of the present State Government was to lower the age for availing the benefits of old age pension without any income limit from 80 years to 70 years and also to constitute Gau Seva Ayog and construct cow sanctuaries in different parts of the State to provide shelter to the abandoned cattles. He said that cess of rupees one per bottle on liquor was also imposed to generate resources to run the Cow Sanctuaries and Gau Sadans. He said that special efforts must be made for ensuring proper care of cows in the Gau Sadans, particularly during the winters. He said that the State Government was providing an assistance of Rs 500 per cow per month to the Gau Sadans in the State under the Gau Vansh Yojna. He also appealed to the people to come forward to contribute towards the cow sanctuaries and Gau Sadans.
Chief Minister said that said that 220 Gau Sadans were also being operated by Non-Government Organizations in the State out of which 127 Gau Sadans have been registered with Himachal Pradesh Gau Seva Aayog. He said that the State Government has recently signed an MoU with a private company, under which the said company would provide shelter to about 3000 cows per cow sanctuary on PPP mode without the assistance of the Government.
Jai Ram Thakur said that a cow sanctuary has been established in Kotla Badog area of Sirmaur district by spending an amount of Rs 1.67 crore for providing shelter to destitute cows. He said that Rs 2.97 crore has been spent on the construction of Handa Kudi Cow sanctuary in district Solan.
Animal Husbandry Minister Virender Kanwar said that Gau Sadan at Sunni would have capacity to house 500 cows and would ensure proper shelter for the stray cattle. He said that the State Government, soon after taking over the reins of the State, decided to establish Gau Sewa Ayog in the State to provide proper shelter to cows abandoned in the State.
Jal Shakti Minister Mahender Singh Thakur, MLA Nachan Vinod Kumar, Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh, Additional Chief Secretary J.C. Sharma were present at Shimla with the Chief Minister, whereas, Shimla district BJP President Ravi Mehta, Vice Chairman Gau Sewa Ayog Ashok Sharma, BJP leader Dr. Pramod Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Shimla Aditya Negi were present at Sunni.