In an attempt to mitigate the acute drought-triggered fodder crisis in Kollegal taluk of Chamrajnagar district, the district administration along with volunteers from non-governmental groups has intensified relief activities by setting up gaushalas and fodder stations in affected settlements.
One such gaushala set up by the district administration with the assistance of the department of animal husbandry and veterinary sciences is providing fodder and water to as many as 1,500 cattle in Dantehalli village. This is in addition to fodder stations set up in the nearby Kuratti Hosur panchayat. As of now, six temporary gaushalas and at least 10 fodder stations have reportedly been set up as a temporary relief measure for affected farmers.
“We have set up a gaushala in Dantehalli to provide free fodder and water for the cattle of the village. We are also closely monitoring the situation on a daily basis. The additional chief secretary also took stock of the situation on Monday,” said B Ramu, district commissioner of Chamrajnagar.
As of now, six temporary gaushalas have been set up as part of a 30-day interim relief action plan formulated during the weekend. Gaushalas have been set up in Rampura, Mangala, Umathur, Bantahalli and Puthur in Gundlupet taluk in the district. The administration had decided to set up 10 temporary gaushalas and fodder stations to tide over the feed crisis in the region.
“We are providing two to three loads of fodder to each of these centres to be distributed to the cattle,” said B Balasundar, deputy director, department of animal husbandry and veterinary sciences, when contacted. Each load is estimated to have around two tonnes of fodder.
Failed sale attempt
Interestingly, the authorities arrived with truckloads of fodder at Kuratti Hosur and Dantehalli during the weekend and tried to convince the farmers to procure the fodder at Rs 2 per kilogramme. But the villagers were adamant that the government give it to them free of cost. The officials reportedly tried to reason with them that the
government was procuring it at cost of Rs 11 per Kg and supplying it to them at a very ‘reasonable’ rate.
“They initially tried to sell it to us at Rs 2 per Kg but we refused to pay them. Now they are giving it free of cost to us,” said C Balakrishna Gowda, a resident of Dantehalli.
Meanwhile, volunteers from non-governmental organisations like Dhyan Foundation have also set up a parallel fodder distribution system in the affected villages of Kollegal taluk. Help, according to them, has been pouring in from various parts of the country including Delhi, Hyderabad and Coimbatore, even as more volunteers are expected to reach Dantehalli in the coming days.
The article was published in bangaloremirror.