A Congress MLA today sought a resolution to be passed in the Punjab Assembly to allow the traditional rural sport of bullock cart racing at Kila Rraipur in Ludhiana. During the Question Hour in the ongoing Budget Session here, Congress MLA Kuldeep Singh Vaid said, “If Punjab Assembly like other states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, passes a resolution, the bullock cart race can be held at Ludhiana.” He said at present, it was difficult to meet the conditions put forth by the deputy commissioner concerned to hold the race, claiming that there was no cruelty being done to the animals during race. Vaid earlier posed a question that whether the government proposed to start ox races in the sports festival at Kila Raipur in Ludhiana. Replying to the query, cultural affairs minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said, “Earlier, bullock carts races were organised by an NGO at Kila Raipur in Ludhiana. During the races, no cruelty was inflicted upon the bulls. Infact they were provided healthy food. This game also led to increase in income of local people.” However, due to a judgement of the Supreme Court on Jallikattu, the bullock cart races were banned under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. There is no proposal to restart the bullock cart races by the department, he said.
However, he the DC concerned can permit bullock cart races subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions as laid down in the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Congress MLA from Gill constituency said it was difficult to meet the conditions. Later to another query, Sidhu said ‘budha nullah’ in Ludhiana had turned into sewer despite the previous government spending Rs 21.67 crore on its cleaning.