Chowkidar mans this regional livestock diagnostic lab in Odisha

Centre managed by veterinary officer of Thuamul Rampur block for only 3 days in a week

BHAWANIPATNA: The Regional Diagnosis Centre and Clinical Investigation Laboratory of the Animal Resources Development department at Bhawanipatna has posts for range investigating officer, research officer, research assistant, livestock inspector, peon and chowkidar. Only the post of chowikdar is filled; rest are still waiting.

Set up to meet the livestock research needs of eight districts, the centre presents a picture of neglect. With labs set up in districts, no case is referred to this facility anymore. In absence of a regular regional investigating officer, affairs of the centre are being managed by the veterinary officer of Thuamul Rampur block for only three days in a week.

The lone such facility in the entire region comprising Kalahandi, Nuapada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Balangir and Sonepur districts, it does not have a research officer, research assistant and livestock inspector. While peon post is also vacant, only a regular chowkidar looks after the facility.

Established in the 1970s, the centre is supposed to carry out tests related to different diseases among the livestock. Tests such as blood, stool, urine, milk and sensitivity besides skin scraping are also done in the laboratory. But in absence of manpower, these clinical investigations are rarely performed. Bogged down with the demands of the job in his place of posting, the Thuamul Rampur veterinary officer finds it difficult to run the facility, sources said.

The centre has equipment like incubators, bio-safety cabinets, laminar flow, compound microscope, etc but ironically, does not have air-conditioning facility which is a must in such laboratories. It also lacks advanced equipment like ELISA reader and the machine to carry out polymerase chain reaction due to which cases are referred to the Animal Disease Research Institute, Cuttack.

Sources said since last several years, cases are not being referred to the Kalahandi regional centre from seven districts. Laboratories have been set up in these districts and complicated cases are referred to the facility at Cuttack.

Contacted, chief district veterinary officer (CDVO) of Kalahandi Dr Chaitanya Sethi said currently, normal cases from Kalahandi district are examined in the centre while complicated ones are referred to Cuttack.
“I am hopeful that the requisite posts will be filled up and advanced equipment installed by the government soon to make the centre a fully operational,” he added.

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