Bhopal: Gau Mata in state surviving on borrowed fodder


BHOPAL: The BJP and the Congress have locked horns over the government’s empty coffers for cows. The government is offering the alibi of poor fiscal health for not allotting funds to cowsheds for fodder. Because of poor fiscal health of the state, the government has stopped funding cowsheds from June. As the government funds have not been received, the cowshed caretakers have been generating money on their own for the past 6 months to look after cattle.

Now, the caretakers are finding it difficult to get fodder on credit. In the current fiscal, the government had to allot Rs 130 crore to the animal husbandry department for fodder. The government has provided only Rs 11 crore. There is no provision for funds in the supplementary budget. Now that the government has failed to provide funds, the caretakers of the cowsheds set up by the government and private parties are finding it difficult to run the cattle barns.

There are 627 affiliated cowsheds; besides, the government has set up 800 cow houses. The caretakers of these cow barns are finding it difficult to buy fodder for the cattle. In order to get funds, a few villagers have even begun to make rounds of the animal husbandry department which has no budget. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan set up cow cabinet in November last year. A meeting of the cabinet was also held, and Chouhan said there would not be any dearth of funds for cow preservation. Nonetheless, the government has failed to provide fodder for cows. Additional chief secretary of the animal husbandry department JN Kansotia said the cowsheds would Rs 120 crore by March to arrange fodder for cows. According to Kansotia, talks about it are being held with the finance department. Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said the government was making a lot of noise after forming the cow cabinet.

Now, the situation has come to such a pass that fodder is being borrowed to feed cows, he said. According to Gupta, the BJP government has never been sympathetic with cow.