The matter is hardly helped by porous state borders which allow cattle from other states to infiltrate and the intransigent attitude of the illegal cattle owners against authorities, say the authorities.
A senior MCD official suggested microchipping cattle to identify the animal and its owner to control the issue.
Last year, the civic body impounded over 13,000 cattle and took action against dozens of illegal dairies.
Last month, an NGT panel rapped the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for “lacking comprehensive data” on dairy farms and cow sheds in areas under its jurisdiction and asked it to carry out a complete inventory of the dairy farms by June 30.
The official acknowledged that the issue is far from under control due to a lack of “infrastructure.”
There are 11 designated dairy colonies in the city where over 1 lakh milch cattle are reared. Besides this, a large number of illegal dairies are being run freely all across the city.
“The menace of stray cattle is profound. The border is porous. A herd of cattle can enter the city any time of the day and no one is answerable.
“The people from nearby states whose livelihood depends on these milch animals sell their cattle here and also leave old ones behind after bringing them here for grazing,” the official lamented. “We see cattle grazing in the parks of Dwarka. How can you stop them!”
The official said that many illegal cattle owners resort to violence when civic officials try to impound their cows.
“Sometimes when we raid a particular area for illegal dairies, these people get to know about the raids and they conceal their animals. And when we raid their houses they use force and pelt stones at us. Moreover, the city has narrow lanes it is very difficult to locate a cow and catch it,” an official said.
According to another official, ‘gaushalas’ and cow shelters are state matters and the Delhi government runs five gaushalas out of which four are functional.
“We need more gaushalas. As of today, Delhi has five gaushalas. Only four of them are functional and one is lying empty for five years due to the non-allotment of NGOs. There are 17,000 cattle heads in these four cowsheds,” he said.
According to him, microchipping the cattle is the only long-term solution.
“After we have microchipped them, we will have all the details of the animals – where it has been, who it belongs to, and when we see a stray cow we can hold someone accountable,” he said.