FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRSPONENT
IMPHAL, April 27: The sensatiol announcement by the government about the outbreak of bird flu at the ICAR complex near Imphal has not had the desired impact on the people in the state. People from all walks of life continue to relish poultry based food items at home and hotels.
The bird flu outbreak comes shortly after swine flu affliction in the state. However, the report of swine flu had failed to create any panic among the people and without much official activities it had fizzled out.
The TMC president TH Shyamkumar and a section of local newspapers had questioned the official announcement on bird flu since it was done by the ICAR without the knowledge and approval of the state government. In clarification the ICAR had stated that the state veteriry department had certified that the fluid sample established Ranikhet disease. As some chickens still died in the IACR complex the samples were sent to Bhopal which, according to an official statement, established bird flu. It only establishes the origil charge that the testing of the sample was done without the knowledge and approval of the Manipur government.
Meanwhile, chicken shops are functioning without let or hindrance. Numerous hotels, eateries, roadside kiosks and hovels where country liquor is sold continue to sell various curried and fried chicken delicacies. Some of them said that all these days they have been eating chicken in the hotels and at home and they have not contracted bird flu. In any case there is no official report of human casualty.
Meanwhile, the official statement is that culling of a little over 20,500 poultry birds within the 1 KM radius of the ICAR complex declared as infected zone is over. Combing within the 10 KM radius said to be surveillance zone is being conducted. However there is not even a lukewarm response from the people.