TUMAKURU: All the 22 goshalas in the district have been closed down as soon as it started raining in June. But most of them lacked facilities. Even as there was a demand from farmers to keep the goshala at Ayyanabavi near Tiptur open, officials shut it despite protests.
Almost all the goshalas in the district were being run either in open fields or under shades of grooves. Farmers who would throng the goshala at Tovinakere would return disappointed because of poor facilities.
As many as 1,257 cattleheads were reportedly registered in March and the number gradually decreased to a mere 500 by April first week.
“Distressed farmers stopped coming to the goshalas”, remarked Padmaraju, a resident. At many places, it was the initiative of the local people who showed empathy with farmers and their cattle which helped the goshalas run.
In Sira, represented by Law Minister T B Jayachandra, a mere 3 kg of fodder was given per cattlehead until farmers staged protests. Later it was increased to 5 kg. In fact, 7 kg per cattlehead per day was promised, said Bootharaju, a farmer. The quality of the fodder varied as stalks of maize were supplied which come at half the price of paddy hay.
“The cattle would never eat the stalks which were of bamboo size”, remarked Ramanji, a resident of Pavagada. On the other hand, the fodder given free of cost by the Ramakrishna Sewashram was of good quality as it was procured from Tanjavore, he added.
No irregularities, says official
Tumakuru Assistant commissioner Tabassum Jahera and tahsildar Range Gowda clarified that they have not received any notice from Upa Lokayukta on the irregularities in running goshalas in the district. The AC denied any misappropriation of funds as alleged in the Upa Lokayukta report. “If the goshalas were ill managed, the farmers would have revolted against us”, she said.