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For a long time, the presence of cattle roaming freely in the institute has proved to be a hindrance to the residents. However, the issue reached a breaking point when Akshay, an intern, was injured in the ensuing struggle between 2 marauding bulls, and the entire incident was captured on a CCTV camera. Learn here what exactly happened – Bull Incident. While this was a stray incident, it did, however, reignite a debate on the topic of cattle in the institute.

While one can easily acknowledge the remarkable change in students’ behavior around the cattle, the administration has also been looking for solutions which fulfill the demand of both sides. Soon after the accident, a 6 member committee headed by the Dean SA, Prof. Tapanendu Kundu, was constituted, involving professors and student representatives. The committee had multiple meetings discussing the different aspects of the issue. We caught up with the Dean of Student Affairs to learn about the progress made by the committee and the decisions it has taken. While the committee has to make further progress, there are multiple points that they have currently agreed upon. 

  1. Being an autonomous enterprise, municipal civic laws, constituted by the BMC, do not apply to the institute. Because of some residents’ affection with the cattle, cattle won’t be evacuated. The foremost plan is to determine the total number of cattle in the institute to keep the record.
  2. The cows would be tagged with a GPS locator so that the security personnel and PHO workers can track their movement and avoid them from entering residential and academic premises.
  3. A large piece of land behind hostel 8 which happens to be the boat-house area will be dedicated to them, where they’ll be provided with food, water, and other provisions to survive

While the rehabilitation of the cows will take a substantial amount of time, the committee has formulated a two-phase plan for its implementation. The first phase will involve the appointment of caretakers for the initial temporary arrangement to acclimatize the cattle to their new residences. Food and other necessities will be arranged as per the advice of  NGOs who work for cattle welfare.

There are propositions to make the plan self-sustaining. Therefore, in the second phase, products gained from cattle such as milk, urine, and cow-dung would be commercialized. Milk will be supplied or put up for purchase or distribution on the campus, urine will be sold to manufacturers of ayurvedic medicines and cow dung will be processed for Biogas synthesis. It will include the installation of cow-shed, processing units and other accessories. There will also be regular visits by veterinarians for the upkeep of the animals. For the costs, the committee proposes to implement the first phase from the coffers of the institute, while for the second phase, it plans on taking the help of the Ministry of Animal Welfare.

While all the changes are in proposals and not yet approved by the administration it’s a commendable initiative by the institute authorities, and if fully implemented, it will be a robust and permanent solution to the current situation.