Around 400 rural veterinary officers (RVOs) working in the Punjab rural development and panchayats department on Wednesday announced to boycott the animal husbandry department, while demanding a separate directorate for their cadre.
"The animal husbandry department systematically uses our services by engaging us in their projects and then washes its hands off us when it comes to financial grants to rural civil vet hospitals that are lying in a shambles," Rural Veterinary Officers' Association (RVOA) president Dr Navdeep Singh Khinda said at a press conference here.
These officers informed that their services were put under the department of rural development and panchayats to bring animal husbandry services under panchayati raj institutions. "This exercise, however, has not brought any good to livestock healthcare," he said.
"Rural development and panchayats is a separate department, but the animal husbandry wing keeps getting work done from us for their projects, for which our work suffers and we do not get any benefit," he added.
He informed that there were 400 posts of rural vet officers for 582 vet hospitals under panchayati raj institutions, of which 182 were lying vacant.
He said the ROVA had resolved to report only to their parental department and would not receive any assignment from the animal husbandry department as the latter was not paying any attention to improve services in rural areas.
"The animal husbandry department has been completing its projects with our support and getting huge cash inflows from the state, the union government and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), but has never showed the magnanimity to share funds with rural vet hospitals to improve these hospitals," he added.