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2 animal pounds in city between 1930s-1960s


GUWAHATI, Feb 19 � Guwahati had two animal pounds between the 1930s and the 1960s to keep the straying domestic animals like bullocks, cows and goats of the town in confinement. Owners of the animals brought to those pounds had to pay a fine of Re 1 against each of their animals to bring the animals back to their homes, said noted writer and researcher on Guwahati Kumudeswar Hazarika.

Hazarika, who was talking to this correspondent here on Tuesday, said the Guwahati Municipality, which used to run those pounds, through the lessees, used to realise the money from the owners of the animals as fine only to make them responsible. Later on, the sum was hiked to Rs 2 per animal. Subsequently, this amount was hiked to Rs 5 per animal.

In the later part of the 1960s, the Guwahati animal pounds were shifted to South Kamrup to teach the irresponsible owners of the animals some tough lessons, he said.

The first pound was located near the Uzanbazar Pokighat at the site where the Red Cross building is now located. This plot of land belonged to Pandit Hem Chandra Goswami. It was later temporarily shifted to Jorpukhuripar area in the latter part of the 1960s, prior to its being shifted to South Kamrup, Hazarika said.

The other pound was located at Bharalumukh area at the site where the Kaliram Barua Girls� High School is now located.

Generally, the municipality people used to chase or take the stray cattle to the pounds. But in case somebody other than the municipal employees took such animals to the pounds, the lessees of the pounds used to pay them eight annas (50 paisa) initially for each of the animals, said the octogenarian writer.

�On occasions, some of our friends used to chase such stray animals to the pounds to earn some bucks to meet their expenses for the �Saru Kachuri� of Ramswarup, the �Pokora� of Burhada, or, the �Bhujia-Bundiya� of Ananda Bhandar in the 1940s and the first part of the 1950s.

�One of our friends, who is no longer now, took some of the cows from their own cowshed to the pound to earn some bucks before a Durga Puja. But somehow his crime became public and his father made him kneel down and hold his ears for sometime in front of their house. And while the punishment was on, his father identified our friend to the passersby as a �Garuchur Putra� (a cow lifter son),� said the writer.

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