MIRZA, Aug 21 - Despite having one of the highest concentration of domesticated animals in the char area villages of Hajo, Palasbari, Chhaygaon and Barkhetri LACs in Kamrup and Nalbari districts, the Government has not yet set up a single veterinary hospital in the revenue villages concerned.
Obviously, the State Government�s tall claim of stepping on the threshold of a White Revolution seems to be running into rough weather.
It may be mentioned here that there are over 15,000 families in over 30 char area villages of Kamrup and Nalbari districts and each family on an average owns 3 to 10 milch cows and bulls.
Even on a cursory glance, there may be more that 1,00,000 cows and bulls in the char villages, namely Gaoburapam, No. 1 Dokonia, No. 2 Dokonia, No. 3 Dokonia, No. 4 Dokonia and Ponditorpam villages under Hajo LAC, Bardia NC, Bardia Gaon, Bhatkhowadia, Sengratary, Bhurakata, Kalardia, Dariatary, Baniapara, Biturtari, Charaimari, Kalapani etc., villages under Palasbari LAC, Maghua, Batahidia, Balagaon, Khetrapara etc., villages under Chhaygaon LAC in Kamrup district and Kurihamari, Laopara, Naobajchar, Bhangonmari etc., villages under Barkhetri LAC in Nalbari district.
Besides, there is a large grazing reserve named Mohmaridia in the char areas under Palasbari LAC where there are over 500 buffaloes and 2,000 milch cows and bulls.
Further, almost every family owns at least one or more goats and sheep, totalling over 20,000 goats and sheep in the char villages under Hajo, Palasbari, Chhaygaon and Barkhetri LACs in Kamrup and Nalbari districts.
Moreover, there are over 1,00,000 indigenous poultry with the families of the char villagers under Kamrup and Nalbari districts.
Sources said that despite having thousands of livestock in the char villages under Palasbari, Hajo, Chhaygaon and Barkhetri LACs, the Government has not yet established a single veterinary hospital in the vast char areas although the char villages of Kamrup and Nalbari districts have been providing indigenous cattle and other livestock to the markets of Guwahati and other areas.
In the late 1980s, the AGP-led Assam Government had set up a veterinary sub-centre at Kurihamari village in the char area of Barkhetri LAC in Nalbari district. But the sub-centre was subsequently damaged by a storm many years back and doctors abandoned the hospital.
Today, the discarded hospital building is home to rodents, snakes, mongoose and other wild denizens. No one from the State Veterinary Department has bothered to visit the veterinary hospital at Kurihamari village and try to make it functional for the welfare of the sick livestock of the vast char area.
Significantly, the cattle and poultry of the char areas are reared by their owners by feeding only organic fodder, thereby providing organic livestock to the mainland areas.
According to Akbar Ali, a local leader of Gaoburapam village in Hajo LAC, entire char villages under Hajo, Palasbari, Chhaygaon and Barkhetri LACs is surrounded by the mighty Brahmaputra from all sides and hence it is not possible to transport the sick animals to the nearest veterinary hospitals located about 15 to 20 kms away in Hajo, Mirza, Chhaygaon and Mukalmua town as these hospitals may be reached only after crossing the Brahmaputra by boat.
As the sick animals are generally big and difficult to handle, it is therefore not possible to treat them by transporting them via boats to the hospitals located at Hajo, Chhaygaon, Mirza or Mukalmua town as transportation of animals is quite expensive and time consuming, said Akbar Ali.
�Whenever an animal becomes sick, it has no other option but to die a slow and painful death. Nobody thinks of carrying a sick animal to the remotely-located veterinary hospitals,��said Akbar Ali.
�During the monsoon season, the villages in the char areas are annually inundated by the flood waters of the Brahmaputra. Thereafter, huge livestock casualties are witnessed due to foot and mouth disease taking an epidemic form. Cattle, goat, sheep and poultry are often at the receiving end, said Abul Hussain, an educated youth from Bhatkhowadia village under Palasbari LAC.
Hussain said that in the absence of veterinary hospitals in the vast char areas, the Government should have organised regular veterinary camps to administer preventive medicines to the livestock in a bid to safeguard the cattle from epidemic diseases during the annual deluge. Ironically, nothing of the sort has been done in this respect.
Not for nothing has the local public urged the concerned Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Minister to immediately address their veterinary-related problems in the char areas by setting up at least two hospitals, at Siyalmari and at Bardia Gaon in Hajo and Palasbari LACs respectively in Kamrup district in a bid to help treat the ailing livestock.
The aggrieved section of public has also urged the Government to transform and upgrade the defunct veterinary sub-centre at Kurihamari into a functional and improved facility.