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Maharashtra to buy 3,200 military cows as army shuts down its farms

Maharashtra’s animal husbandry commissioner said that the cows will be purchased at Rs 1,000 each as per the contract signed by the animal husbandry department and Ministry of Defence.

pune Updated: Jan 07, 2019 13:39 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
military farms,maharashtra,defence ministry
Indian Army’s farm at Pimpri in Pune. The army has decided to shut down its farms at various places in Maharashtra to rebalance defence expenditure. (HT File )

As the Indian Army has decided to cut flab by shutting down its military farms in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik and Ahmednagar and write-off its cows for a token amount, the Maharashtra state Animal husbandry department has decided to purchase 3,200 from them. According to officials of the animal husbandry department, the process to buy these animals will begin from January 14.

Last year, the Indian Army had decided to close all its military farms based on the recommendations made in the report submitted by Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retd). The committee, headed by Lt Gen Shekatkar, was set up with a mandate to recommend measures for enhancing of combat capability and rebalancing defence expenditure of the armed forces with an aim to increase “teeth to tail ratio”.

Kantilal Umap, Maharashtra’s animal husbandry commissioner, said, “Construction of the cow shelters and sheds at Tathawade for 3,200 cows is in its last stage and will be completed by this week. By January 14, we will start purchasing the cows.”

“This is an inter-governmental agreement and as per the contract signed by the animal husbandry department and Ministry of Defence, the cows will be purchased at Rs 1,000 each,” added Umap.

Umap further added that the state government has also decided to prepare the foundation stock of high genetic merit pure indigenous breeds, which would help stock pure indigenous breeds of cows in the state.

Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retd), head of the government-appointed panel, said, “According to the reports, 188 recommendations were made by the expert committee, which is known as the Shekatkar committee. One of the recommendations was to close military farms. It will be followed in a phase wise manner and all the existing employees will be accommodated in other departments of the military.”

According to the state animal husbandry department, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,Goa and Uttarakhand state governments have shown their interest in purchasing of these cows.

First Published: Jan 07, 2019 13:39 IST