131 veteriry hospitals in State 'operating' without a single doctor
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, March 15: The Animal Husbandry and Veteriry department in Assam is in a shambles. Led by minister Khorsing Ingti with a dismal track record of inefficiency and mis-magement, the department has become almost defunct with acute shortage of manpower and lack of infrastructure. In its contribution to the State’s economy at present, the department is in danger of becoming totally irrelevant.
There are presently 438 veteriry hospitals in the State and almost all of these are in woeful state with insufficient manpower as well as poor infrastructure and facilities. Shockingly, of the 438 veteriry hospitals in the State, several hospitals don’t have a single doctor.
According to sources, 8 veteriry hospitals in Kokrajhar, 8 in Sivasagar, 5 in Jorhat, 11 in gaon, 19 in Cachar, 2 in Morigaon, 9 in Tinsukia, 10 in Dhubri, 6 in Dhemaji, 8 in Golaghat, 2 in Hailakandi, 2 in Udalguri, 10 in Karimganj, 7 in Sonitpur, 2 in Darrang, 5 in Lakhimpur, 2 in Barpeta, 12 in Karbi Anglong, 1 in Chirang and 2 in Dibrugarh district do not have a single doctor.
Many posts are lying vacant in veteriry hospitals across the State. “771 posts, including 138 of doctors, in the 438 veteriry hospitals are now lying vacant,” sources said.
The Animal Husbandry and Veteriry department was set up in 1905 and till 1985, it was playing an important role with significant contribution towards the State’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Sources said that although sufficient funds were given to the department by both the State and the Central governments in the past three years, the department has not utilized the funds well for reasons best known to it. “In the fincial years 2012-13 to 2014-15, the Animal Husbandry and Veteriry Department received Rs 179.5 crore from the State government and Rs 110.45 crore from the Central government,” sources added.
There are also allegations that many employees of the department concerned have not been paid salaries for the last 7/8 months. Some employees of the department have already taken retirement without getting salaries for these months.