GUWAHATI, March 10 � Lack of infrastructure, including doctors, has been affecting veterinary service in the State. The State at present has 434 veterinary dispensaries, 1,312 veterinary sub-centres and around five per cent of them are in working condition. Similarly, there are 696 veterinary doctors in the State at present.
Resenting this pathetic condition, the Assam Veterinary Service Association (AAHVSA) expressed its indignation over the failure of the government to allocate more money for supply of medicines and vaccines to the farmers. Against the need of at least Rs 1.8 crore for the livestock and Rs 2.2 crore for poultry per month, the present allocation for the purpose is a meagre Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, it said.
The association also called for steps to set up disease diagnostic laboratories for diagnosing zoonotic diseases like bird flu, etc., in each of the district headquarters.
It has also urged for urgent steps to introduce a national level project for the animal husbandry and veterinary sector in line with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to improve the status of the sector. On the other hand, the requirement of veterinary doctors in the State is 1,782 at present as per the animal population. The State has 1.8 crore livestock and 2.2 crore poultry, as per the 2010 Livestock Census of the Government of India (GoI).
The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary (AH&Vety) Department was set up in the State in 1905 and till 1985, the department was an important one in the State with significant contribution towards the gross domestic product (GDP). But after the LOC scam involving an amount of around Rs 400 crore hit the department, its status in the eye of the people degraded and it started facing neglect from all quarters.
The department needs to be revitalized to help the State meet its growing demand of milk, meat and eggs and other animal protein-based food items.
However, recently, two positive developments have taken place at the instance of the present Principal Secretary of the Department. Around 82 dispensaries are being reconstructed under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY) and Establishment and Strengthening of Veterinary Hospitals and Dispensaries (ESVHD) schemes, and promotion order of 145 doctors and officers of the department are expected within the current month, AAHVSA sources said.