Bird flu might be now at Kolkata's doorstep. After the outbreak in Birbhum, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur districts, deaths of more than about 400 poultry birds were reported at Mankundu in Sarisa in the outskirts of the city.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Friday that the bird flu situation in the state is alarming but there is no cause for panic. Bhattacharjee held a high-level meeting at Writers’ Buildings with central livestock commissioner Dr SK
Bandopadhyay, state health minister, Surya Kanta Mishra and other senior officers. It is learnt that the dying chickens were showing symptoms of the deadly bird flu in a private poultry farm and several other houses at Sarisa under the Diamond Harbour II block since Wednesday.
A senior official of the state animal resource development department (ARD) confirming the report said that samples of the dead chickens would be sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal on Saturday morning by air.
Soon after the getting news of the abnormal deaths of poultry birds at Sarisa, the district magistrate of South 24 Parganas held an emergency meeting with the sub-divisional officer (SDO) of Diamond Harbour and ARD officials.
Speaking to the press, the chief minister said, “It has been decided that all poultry birds and other birds in the range of five to 10 kilometres from the affected areas would be culled. More than four lakh poultry birds would be culled within the next seven days. Poultry owners would not be allowed to start business in the affected areas for the next three months,” said Bhattacharjee. Till Friday, already 40,000 poultry birds were culled.
The chief minister said the state finance department has already allocated Rs three crore. “I had a discussion with Sharad Pawar and he has assured me to provide 50 per cent of the compensation money,” said Bhattacharjee.