The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to set up temporary cattle shelter facilities under urban and rural civic bodies for stray cows, and to impose a “cow welfare cess” for the maintenance of these facilities, PTI reported. The decisions were taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Adityanath.

The “cow welfare cess” will be imposed on eight profit-making public sector departments, The Indian Express reported. Among these are the excise department, public works department, the State Industrial Development Corporation and the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority.

A government official said the cowsheds will be constructed through funds meant for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. In every district in rural and urban areas, cowsheds with a minimum capacity of 1,000 will be built, he added.

The state cabinet also decided that farmers who leave their cattle in public places or on other people’s properties will be fined.

“The decision [to create cattle shelter facilities] is very significant and special,” Cabinet minister Shrikant Sharma said. “It is regarding a policy for establishment and maintenance of temporary cow shelters in gram panchayats, chetra panchayats, nagar panchayats, municipal corporations etc.”

Adityanath had last week ordered government officials to make immediate arrangements for protection of stray cattle. In a meeting with senior officials in Lucknow, the chief minister said the government has sanctioned Rs 10 crore to each of the 16 municipal corporations to arrange for sheds for stray cows, and Rs 1.2 crore to every district for setting up new cow shelters.