The victim, identified as Shehbaz Khan, a resident of Ramgarh, was on his way to Ramgarh when he met with the accident.
THE STRAY cattle menace claimed yet another life late in the evening on Saturday, when a 23-year-old riding a bike on his way to home hit a bull on the highway leading to Ramgarh right outside Ojas Hospital.
The victim, identified as Shehbaz Khan, a resident of Ramgarh, was on his way to Ramgarh when he met with the accident. He was first taken to Ojas hospital for treatment from where he was referred to PGI, Chandigarh, where he died in the early morning during treatment.
Following the accident, a daily diary report entry was made. His body was sent for a post-mortem in Sector 6 Civil Hospital and handed over to the family on Sunday.
Second such death in past six months
This is second such death in the past six months that has come to light in the city. On September 28 last year, another 34-year-old motorcyclist was killed after his bike crashed into stray cattle roaming on the NH-73.
The problem of stray cattle in the city has persisted for long. Several residents have time and again made complaints to the Municipal Corporation but to no avail. In reply to an RTI application filed by P P Kapoor, an activist hailing from Panipat, it was revealed that although the budget of Haryana Gau Seva Commission has increased from Rs 45 lakh to Rs 30 crore in the last five years, the government has not been able to free the state from the nuisance of stray cattle.
Panchkula was set to become a cattle-free district by January 26 last year but could not as all the cow-sheds across the district had been filled up. A total of 513 stray animals were caught and put in cow-sheds during the drive of making Haryana cattle-free while 803 that have been identified by the Panchkula administration still roam free.
Panchkula does not have even a single municipality-owned cow-shed and thus has to depend on private ones. According to officials, the cow-sheds in the city are full and cannot accommodate anymore cattle.
The shed that was to be built at a cost of Rs 5.62 crore at ‘Sukhdarshanpur’ for the cattle of Panchkula was cancelled midway by the Panchkula MC. The work was first stopped after the MC’s own councillor asked for a probe into the matter, but after the files were cleared by the vigilance department, the work never began as the MC cancelled the tender. The shed was then handed over to an NGO to further complete the work, which still lies pending.
Directions of Punjab and Haryana HC
The Punjab and Haryana High Court in an order passed on September 16 last year awarding the victim’s wife a compensation of Rs 20 lakh had observed, “The State and the Municipality, in my view, is the constructive owner of res nullius and all stray animals which can cause potential harm, and therefore, the offending bull in the present case will be deemed to be in their care, custody and possession with an obligation to round them up. This strict responsibility is not to be seen to be lightly shirked and brushed aside to deny a just claim.” The Punjab and Haryana High Court had also said that the victim of an accident caused by stray cattle can approach the High Court directly for compensation.