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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

UP government orders audit of cow shelters

According to a veterinary officer, around four lakh stray cattle live in 4,000 temporary cow shelters set up across the state and out of these, around 140 shelters are in the Bareilly zone alone.

lucknow Updated: Oct 23, 2019 19:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bareilly
Veterinary and zonal development officers have been asked by the state government to inspect cow shelters and collect information on fund utilisation from their managers.
Veterinary and zonal development officers have been asked by the state government to inspect cow shelters and collect information on fund utilisation from their managers.(HT photo/Virendra Singh)
         

The state government has ordered an audit of all cow shelters in the wake of recent reports of cattle deaths due to poor upkeep of these protection homes.

According to chief veterinary officer, Dr Lalit Kumar, around four lakh stray cattle live in 4,000 temporary cow shelters set up in rural and urban areas across the state. Of these, around 140 shelters are in the Bareilly zone alone.

Now, veterinary and zonal development officers have been asked to inspect cow shelters and collect information on fund utilisation from their managers. “These officers have been asked to ascertain the number of livestock, money spent on fodder, and details of accounts and expenditure on the upkeep of shelters till September 30, and then submit a report within a week,” said Kumar.

He said that if anyone adopted an animal from a cow shelter, the government provided that person a grant of Rs 900 per animal per month, for fodder.

On October 14, the state government had ordered the suspension of the district magistrate of Maharajganj and four other officials after financial irregularities were reported in the funds allocated to a local cow shelter there.

“The possibility of similar irregularities being committed in other cow shelters cannot be ruled out,” said the veterinary officer, adding that the audit report would be submitted by month end to the state government.

Kumar said that after Maharajganj, anomalies were also detected at Bareilly’s Kanha Upvan.

To recall, carcasses of several cows were found at Kanha Upvan by mayor Umesh Gautam during a surprise inspection on October 15. According to him, at least 600 cows had died there in the past nine months and out of these, 30 deaths had occurred in this month alone.

A few days later, reports of 22 cow deaths at a shelter in Budaun also came out.