IIT-B to find solution to cows, bulls, other animals strolling in classrooms

Updated: Jul 30, 2019, 08:07 IST | Pallavi Smart

Fed up of cows, bulls and other animals strolling into classrooms and knocking people off cycles, institute to form body to find solution

IIT-B to find solution to cows, bulls, other animals strolling in classrooms
Videograb of a cow inside a classroom of IIT-B, Powai

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has had several guests, including monkeys and leopards, on their Powai campus, with the latest being a cow that strayed into a classroom taking the students by surprise. While most instances have been harmless, an incident from two weeks back left a student with abdominal injuries. Akshay Prasanna Latha, a student of College of Engineering in Trivandrum who was interning at IIT-B, was unlocking his bicycle when two raging bulls knocked him down outside the hostel on July 12.

However, the IIT-B administration swung into action to address the man-animal conflict on the campus after the video of the cow taking a stroll inside the classroom went viral on Sunday. It has planned to set up a committee, comprising BMC officials, animal activists and NGOs, to look into the issue. The representatives are expected to suggest ways to avoid man-animal conflict on the campus. "The Director has constituted a committee to look into the issue of human vs. animal conflict on the campus. The members will consult the BMC and animal experts before taking any conclusive steps," the IIT-B spokesperson said.

In the meantime, provisional measures are being taken to avoid such instances, added the spokesperson. However, he did not confirm if the cow video was of the IIT-B campus. "In the absence of date stamp and venue, it is difficult to authenticate the video," he said. "The BMC has removed two bulls from outside the gate. Our staff and security are alert and doing their best. The institute will take best possible measures to mitigate any conflict," he added. A student told mid-day that the "man-animal conflict is frequent on Powai campus. There have been instances when monkeys have entered our hostels. We have spotted leopards on the campus too."

Rs 10,000 fine likely for bulls**t

The BMC has decided to tighten its grip on the issue of cattle menace in the city, with a proposal to increase fine fourfold on owners who let their domesticated animals loose on the streets, which then leave dung everywhere. Cattle owners, who let their animals roam the roads or tie them up outside temples or in public spaces, are currently fined Rs 2,500. The civic body levies a fine of Rs 1,500 for a stray calf. The amount will see a four-fold hike if the Standing Committee of the BMC passes the proposal on Wednesday.

The fines will be hiked to Rs 10,000 for mature cattle and Rs 6,000 for calves. The BMC had collected a fine of Rs 29 lakh by fining the owners of 1,093 cattle between April 2018 and March 2019. The BMC had submitted the proposal to the Standing Committee after corporator Nehal Shah had raised the issue of cattle menace at a general body meeting in March. "The cattle owners are only looking for business. They don't take care of their animals and are not even concerned about hygiene. Besides as per the high court order there should not be cattle inside the city, and footpaths and roads should be free," Shah told mid-day. "The increase in fine will surely help solve the issue," she added.

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