The district may lose around 10 veterinary dispensaries in its villages if the proposed move of rationalising veterinary hospitals and dispensaries comes into effect.
According to sources, the office of the deputy director, Faridkot, recently forwarded a proposal to shift and merge some veterinary dispensaries into other dispensaries and veterinary hospitals.
Faridkot has 32 veterinary hospitals headed by qualified doctors and 33 veterinary dispensaries, in which veterinary inspectors provide services.
Last year, the district had an estimated 2-lakh buffalo and cow population. Sources said there was a 20 to 25% increase in the cow population and a 1 to 2% decrease in the buffalo population.
According to the proposed policy, there should be at least 5,000 cattle heads for a verterinay hospital and 3,000 cattle heads for a dispensary. But some of the dispensaries do not have the required number of cattle heads and the department has reportedly been planning to merge them with other dispensaries or hospitals.
Jarnail Singh Sangha, vice-president of the Veterinary Inspectors Union, said, “If the proposal is implemented, around 10 veterinay dispensaries in the district would go. These include Hardialeana, Rajowal, Pipli, Golewala, Sikhan wala, Dhurkot and Malla. Instead of augmenting the facility, the government is taking away the one already provided. It is an anti-people move and we will not allow it and protest against it.”
“Malla, Hardialeana and Rajowal may be merged into Pakhi Kalan and Sikhan wala into the Sandhwan village veterinary hospital,” he said.
“The move will also affect the cadre of veterinary inspectors and posts of veterinary inspectors (pharmacists) would automatically go,” said Sangha.
A vet said, “The government move is aimed at saving itself from the problem of shotage of staff and that of providing infrastructure. People will have to travel far to avail themselves of the facility. Besides, many dispensaries lack infrastructure, so the government is planning to merge them.”
Dr Parminder Singh, deputy director, animal husbandry, said, “We have sent the proposal. But it is up to the government to take the call.”
Chamkaur Singh, resident of Sikhan wala village, said, “People avail of the private service as most of them do not have the time to take the animals to dispensaries or vet hospitals. Transportation is expensive, so people readily pay the vets for services at their doorstep.”
HS Sandha, CEO, Punjab Livestock Board, was not available for comment.