To improve the quality of cows and attempt to give them a natural environment, the state government in Himachal Pradesh has set up several Gau Seva Aayog institutions in collaboration with different departments for maintaining biodiversity and preserving the nation’s development. The new sanctuaries aimed to save and bring back endangered species and housed them in newly-created homes.
Under the programme, as many as nine sanctuaries and big cow shelters would be set up for the cows that have stopped milking or bulls that have been abandoned by cattle ranchers for not being able to plough. The Aayog, which was constituted in March this year, will be comprised of 10 government members, 10 non-government members and 10 special invitees. Meanwhile, the state government had decided that 15 percent of the income of temple trusts and one rupee Gauvansh cess on sale of per bottle of liquor will be taken from which the amount of 7.95 crore has been collected in Aayog’s account.
State Minister for Animal Husbandry and Chairman of ‘Gau Seva Aayog’ Virendra Kanwar said cow shelters, cow sheds, cattle ponds,and others are being constructed for destitute cows at the Panchayati level. As per Kanwar, during the 2012 census, 32,107 destitute cows was on the roads and so far now 9,119 animals have been provided shelter in shelters with the help of NGOs. He, however, urged the people not to abandon their cows and ensure registration of their animals under the Panchayati Raj Act 2006.
Himachal government initiatives
Establishment of Sex-Sorted Semen Facility Center:
For inceasing the breed of female calves, a sex-sorted semen facility center at a cost of 47.50 crore will also be set up by the Himachal government. For the financial help, 90 percent grant will be given by the Central government and the state government will provide the remaining percent. In this center, such injections will be prepared for indigenous cow breeds that will produce only female calves. The government has also notified land of around 740 kanals of land for the facility Center in Lamlahdi of Kutlehar Assembly constituency. This will reduce the problem of destitute animals on the roads and it will also motivate farmers to adopt livestock activities.
Gau Sadan Construction:
Under the initiative, new cow-sanctuaries and big cow shelters have been established across the state. The foundation stone of cow-sanctuary worth 1.52 crore have been laid at Kotla Badog in district Sirmaur and the process is going on in other districts as well. A cow-sanctuary will be constructed at Thanakala Khas in District Una at the cost of 1.69 crore and 2.97 crore at Hada-Kudi in District Solan. In addition, an amount of 77.90 lakh has been released by the Aayog for the fencing of Gaushala operated by the temple trust in Bai Attariyan of district Kangra. With this, the capacity of ‘Gau Sadan’ will be increased to 1000 cows.
The government has notified the land for the establishment of cow sanctuaries in Bilaspur’s Barota Dabwal and Dhara-Tatoh. An amount of 21 lakh rupees has also been released for the construction of four new cow shelters in several districts including Kangra, Mandi and Solan.
An amount of 1.20 crore has been released by the Aayog for the construction of nine new cow shelters and for the expansion of old cow shelters to provide shelter to the destitute cows of local areas. So far now, two new veterinary dispensaries have been started by the state government and eight veterinary dispensaries have been upgraded to the veterinary hospital, while one veterinary hospital has been upgraded to sub-divisional veterinary hospital. Apart from this, various schemes are being implemented by the state government with the aim of giving a big boost to animal husbandry and dairy activities.
The ‘Pashu Aahar Yojana’ has been started for pregnant cows and buffalos for the scheduled caste and general category BPL families. Under this scheme for the upliftment of families of these categories a provision of 4.60 crore has been made to provide animal feed at 50 percent subsidy during the last three months of pregnancy of their cows and buffalo.
Dairy Udyami Vikas Yojana scheme
Under the Centre scheme, the State Government is providing 10 percent additional subsidy on purchase of foreign breed cows and 20 percent subsidy on purchase of indigenous breed cows to the beneficiaries. Apart from this Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Gir and Tharparkar breed have also been included in the Animal Breeding Policy. Under the National Gokul Mission, an amount of 195.00 lakhs has been received from the Union government for the preparation of fetus of Sahiwal breed in the embryo transplant laboratory of Palampur. For this eight Sahiwal cows or calves of high breed have also been purchased from Punjab and Haryana.