BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Feb 19: In primarily agrarian Assam, livestock needs to be an important component of the State’s economy. However, its Animal Husbandry & Veteriry department has long been a non-performer; worse, it has been a sinkhole of government funds. A visit to lbari district alone will show how veteriry dispensaries and sub-veteriry centres are languishing without any intervention from the State government.
Even the District Veteriry Hospital in lbari doesn’t have its own building yet; it is presently functioning from the District Diagnosis Laboratory. The District Veteriry Hospital also lacks adequate number of veteriry equipments and vaccines. Most critical cases are referred to Guwahati for advanced treatment. Similar situation also prevails in veteriry dispensaries and sub-centres.
Besides the District Veteriry Hospital, lbari district has 24 veteriry dispensaries and 31 sub-veteriry centres.
Sources said a new building for housing the District Veteriry Hospital has already been constructed by the PWD near its makeshift location, but has not yet been handed over to the Hospital authorities.
One can therefore well imagine the condition of veteriry dispensaries and sub-centres in the district. These are mostly housed in dilapidated structures, run by ‘in-charge’ officials.
Even the post of District Veteriry Officer in lbari is not being occupied by a permanent officer; it too is being looked after by an ‘in-charge’ officer. Three posts of Block Veteriry Officers in the district are also currently lying vacant.
According to official sources, 73 posts of veteriry doctors are lying vacant in the State. Presently, there is one doctor against 18,037 cattle heads in the State, but as per rule, there should one doctor against 5,000 cattle heads. Besides doctor’s posts, many other veteriry posts are also lying vacant in the State.