Pashu Sandesh, 29th June 2018
In a first of its kind Rajasthan government is going to start a cow safari. The safari will be located on 12 acers of land at Hingaunia Gaushala on the outskirts of capital city Jaipur. Work on this project is in full swing and the cow safari will be open to public on the day of Janmashtami. The state owned Hingaunia Gaushala, which is presently managed by Akshaypatra Foundation is one of the biggest Gaushala in the country and it houses more than 25000 cows and bulls. The objective of this safari is to create awareness on cow protection and to spread the knowledge related to cow.
Sharing the details of this unique project with the media, program coordinator of cow safari Radha Priya Das said, that initially 200-300 cows of twenty Indian breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Tharparkar will be put in the safari area. The safari track will run on a beautifully landscaped path with water bodies being created under the project. Description of different breeds of cows will be displayed on trees along the safari route. The visitor will enjoy the safari track while riding on a bullock cart. Initially three specially designed bullock carts will be employed for this purpose. There will be special cottages (Machan huts) for tourists who want to spend more time at the gaushala. Das added that the safari will be free for visitors but they will have to pay for staying in the Machan huts.
The Hingonia Gaushala had hit headlines in 2016 when thousands of cows died within two months due to mismanagement by the authorities. At that time this gaushala was managed by the Jaipur municipal carporation. After the incident the management of Gaushala is handed over to an NGO Akshaypatra Foundation, which is now developing it as a breeding centre for desi cows.
Here we want to inform our reads that Rajasthan is the only state in the country to have a dedicated separate cow ministry. There are about 2500 Gaushalas in the state which house more than 8.5 lakh cows.
Rajasthan government charges a 10% cow cess as surcharge on stamp duty for protection and propagation of cows in the state since 2017. This surcharge is applicable on all non-judicial instruments. In the last two financial years the state government collected Rs 895 crore from this surcharge.
Last week also Rajasthan government announced a 20% surcharge for cow protection on all varieties of liquor sold in the state. The order issued by the state finance department does not mention the reason but there are reports that the government has asked the department to use the surcharge only for cow protection. This surcharge will be applicable from 23 July 2018.