BHAWANIPATNA: THE cattle population in Kalahandi district has witnessed substantial decline since 2001. With no support from the local administration, the animal husbandry sector is a victim of manpower shortage and poor infrastructure.
Kalahandi district has three veterinary hospitals, 18 veterinary dispensaries, 119 livestock aid centres, 126 artificial insemination centres. But, the district does not have a regular Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) with the Sub-Divisional Veterinary Officer of Dharamgarh holding the additional charge of the CDVO.
The district requires eight veterinary surgeons but the posts at Lanjigarh, Karlamunda, Borda and Charbahal are lying vacant. The surgeon of Ladugaon veterinary dispensary has been deputed to work in Odisha Biological Products Limited (BOPL) at Berhampur. Similarly, out of 13 posts of assistant veterinary surgeons, seven are vacant. The Bhawanipatna District Veterinary Hospital is functioning without a Deputy Director while assistant veterinary surgeon post is being managed by the livestock inspector. The Deputy Director has been deployed to work at Nayagarh. While the district has 12 sanctioned block veterinary officer posts, seven of them are lying vacant in Kesinga, M Rampur, Thuamul Rampur, Kalampur, Koksera, Jaipatna and Golamunda.
As far as infrastructure is concerned, out of 305 gram panchayats, 142 have no livestock aid centres. Of the existing 119 aid centres, 95 have no power supply. As a result, vaccines and medicines cannot be preserved in refrigerators.
There are 126 artificial insemination centres in the district but 16 of them do not have permanent building. Although there are 115 mobile veterinary units to cater to needs of livestock farmers in inaccessible pockets, several posts in these units are vacant. Each mobile unit requires one veterinary surgeon, a livestock inspector and one attendant.
According to the cattle census of 2001,2007 and 2012, there has been a consistent reduction in livestock population in the district. It is attributed to lack of manpower and infrastructure apart from cattle smuggling by traders to slaughter houses.
The cattle population (cow) came down from 4,81,056 in 2001 to 3,11,732 in 2007 and 3,10,875 in 2012. Similarly, buffalo population declined during the period. In 2001, it was 95,534, in 2007 it was 55,747 and in 2012, the number came down to 43,764.
Currently, the district administration is preparing for 2017 cattle census. Field staff of the Animal Husbandry Department said the livestock population is likely to come down further this time.
WHERE ARE THE VETS?
● The dist requires 8 veterinary surgeons but 4 posts at Lanjigarh, Karlamunda, Borda and Charbahal are lying vacant
● Out of 13 posts of assistant veterinary surgeons, 7 are vacant
● District Veterinary Hospital is functioning without a deputy director