Efforts are on to make Himachal Pradesh stray cattle-free within one and a half years, and it would be a pioneer State in this field in the country. This was disclosed by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while launching ‘Assistance to Gausadan/Gaushala/Cow Sanctuary Scheme’ and National Artificial Insemination Programme Phase-II of Animal Husbandry department, here today.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that under the ‘Assistance to Gausadan/Gaushala/Cow Sanctuary Scheme’ Rs. 500 per cow per month would be provided to all Gausadans/Gaushalas/ cow sanctuaries having 30 or more cattle’s as maintenance allowance after complete tagging under Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH) and National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) as per the Government of India guidelines. He said that these benefits would be extended to cow sanctuaries/Gaushalas established by the government, registered Gausadans and Gaushalas being run by Panchayats, Mahila Mandals, Local Bodies and NGOs etc.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government has decided to ensure that no one would be allowed to abandon their cattle. In the very first cabinet meeting of the state government, it was decided that a few apolitical and decision with humane angle be taken and thus the government decided to lower the age limit for availing the benefits of old age pension without any income limit from 80 years to 70 years. The second decision was making provision for providing shelter to stray cattle and levying one rupees cess per bottle of liquor for construction and maintenance of cow sadans, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the government has now decided to levy cess of Rs. 1.50 per cattle of liquor to generate the income and also to develop cow sanctuaries in the State. He said that the government was committed to ensure that not even a single cattle was found on the roads for which the collective efforts were required.
He said that under the National Artificial Insemination Programme Phase-II, facility of artificial insemination would be provided to improve the breed of cattle thereby helping the farmers to supplement their income. He said that this would benefit over eight lakh farmers of the State.
Jai Ram Thakur also interacted with the farmers and members of Managing Committee of Gausadans and Gaushalas.
Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Animal Husbandry Minister Virender Kanwar said that it was for the first time the Chief Minister has interacted with cattle rearers of the state. The efforts would be made to bring all the abandoned cattle into Gau Sadans and cow sanctuaries for which active cooperation of every section of the society was required. He said that efforts would also be made for capacity enhancement of the cow sanctuaries in the State.
He said that seven cow sanctuaries were coming up in seven districts of the State which would be made functional at the earliest. He said that the Agriculture department would purchase cow dung from the cow sanctuaries and would be sold to farmers as vermi-compost. The efforts would also be made to plant fodder trees in cow sanctuary areas so that cows could get green fodder. He said that the state government would ensure free vaccination of cattle twice in a year.
Additional Chief Secretary, Animal Husbandry Nisha Singh said that the National Artificial Insemination Programme Phase-II would go a long way in improving the breed of the cattle in the State thereby increasing the farm income. She said that the efforts were being made to make Himachal Pradesh a ‘Milk Bowl’ of the country.
Vice Chairman, HP Gau Sewa Ayog Ashok Sharma presented vote of thanks.
Director Animal Husbandry Dr. Ajmer Singh Dogra made a presentation on various activities of the department. He said that tagging of cattle was being done to discourage the people from abandoning their cattle.
Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Minister Dr. R.N. Batta, members of Gau Sewa Ayog and other officers were present on the occasion.