With the animal husbandry and MP forest department at loggerheads on the issue of restarting a carcass utilisation plant at Ratapani sanctuary, MP animal husbandry minister Kusum Mehdele has now written to state forest minister Dr Gauri Shankar Shejwar to restart the plant at the earliest.
Mehdele, in her letter, has pointed out that the state presently does not have a carcass disposal facility which could be a severe health risk.
HT had first reported the matter in February 2014. In February 2014, the state forest department had served a notice to the MP poultry development corporation, the agency that would run the plant asking it to not restart the plant.
The plant was set up in 1995 at a huge cost but has been lying defunct. The animal husbandry department was making efforts to restart it after which the forest department sent a notice. The forest department had objected to the plant on the grounds that bacteria thrive on such location and this could be detrimental to wildlife. “The state animal husbandry department had not been able to establish its claims over the land on which the plant is located,” said former superintendent of Ratapani sanctuary, CS Dubey who had served the notice. Besides this, the forest department had said that a commercial enterprise cannot be run in a sanctuary.
The Ratapani sanctuary is a deemed tiger reserve and had 12 tigers as per the previous census.
With the project stalled, the animal husbandry minister has now written to the state forest department seeking his intervention in the matter. “The state does not have a carcass utilization plant. The plant would be run on a scientific basis and would not pollute the environment,” said the minister in her letter.
The animal husbandry department had also denied that it was a commercial enterprise. “The unit will be run on a no profit-no loss basis,” said an official of the animal husbandry department.