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In drought-hit Barmer, camps only for bovines but not for other animals

Jivraj Singh Sodha, a villager, said government’s discrimination against other domestic breed has forced the owners of those animals to migrate to other areas in search of fodder and drinking water.

jaipur Updated: May 22, 2019 14:27 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times, Barmer
barmer district,drought,drought in barmer
Barmer and Jaisalmer districts are facing the severest drought of the decade, according to a government report.(HT File )

As a relief measure in drought-affected Barmer and Jaisalmer districts, the Rajasthan government has opened camps only for bovines and not for other domestic breed.

Barmer district collector Himanshu Gupta said, “According to government directions, only bovines are allowed to be kept in cattle camps because other domestic animals are put in the commercial category.”

According to the livestock census, Barmer district has 54 lakh livestock population, including 7,88,366 bovines, 2,14,168 buffalos, 1404031 sheep, 2896620 goats and 43,126 camels.

This year Barmer and Jaisalmer districts are facing the severest drought of the decade, according to a government assessment report. After failure of monsoon this year, 2741 of total 2775 villages in Barmer and 806 of total 835 villages in Jaisalmer were declared as drought-affected.

On the basis of a crop assessment report, the government has launched relief activities from April. Villagers complain that relief is inadequate and that complexity of norms has made delivery difficult. Apart from camps only for bovines, officials say water tankers are sanctioned to the parched areas only after villagers’ request.

“There is no arrangement of fodder and drinking water, which has affected humans and cattle. In such a situation, we are expecting relief from the government but situation is quite the opposite,” said Hindu Singh Tamlor, sarpanch of Tamlor village.

“Camels, sheep, buffalos and goats are also affected by the drought like bovines; people are facing same hurdles in arranging fodder and drinking water for these animals as for bovines,” he added. “It appears that government’s disaster management and relief department is considering cow as the only cattle in Rajasthan as others are neglected. Most people in this area have goats and sheep because everybody cannot afford to have cows.”

Jivraj Singh Sodha, a villager, said government’s discrimination against other domestic breed has forced the owners of those animals to migrate to other areas in search of fodder and drinking water. “If the government will take care of only cows only, then what about other domestic animals?” Sodha asked.

First Published: May 22, 2019 14:27 IST