R LESTER MAKANG UKHRUL, 10th May:
Whether one points to the government's apathy or the laxity of the department concerned or both, time has apparently stood still for the District Veterinary Department, Ukhrul or it has broken down to an abysmal low over the past many years.
Despite the fact that the Directorate of Veterinary Department has time and again claimed that various schemes taken up by the department have benefited the farmers of the state, the office of the Veterinary Department in Ukhrul has almost lost count of the number of years since the last time it struggled to implement such schemes in dribs and drabs for the poor farmers in the district.
This surprising revelation came to the fore when The People's Chronicle visited the office of the District Veterinary Department here on Wednesday, where visitors are greeted by locked doors, except two office rooms with a few staff members inside.
Sources disclosed that the department is wallowing in years of neglect by the successive governments of the state, adding that for years it was not provided a full-fledged joint director until a new one was posted around the end of 2017.
However, the new joint director was found out of station and the office locked when The People's Chronicle attempted to meet the officer.
According to the source, the department has stopped implementing any schemes for the farmers.
The schemes include distribution of piggery, poultry and other livestock at subsidised rates.
The department is limited to conducting immunization and delivery of rational treatment for cattle and other animals in a select few villages from time to time depending on the demands of the villagers.
Inferring the possibility of centralization within the department, the source further pointed out that as far as such schemes are concerned the department is out of the picture, but only those who know the rigmarole of the official process and can afford to run after them at the directorate office at Imphal could be the ones availing the benefits of such schemes if there are any. It was discovered that the department has been left in the dark about any existing schemes under it for a prolonged period without being served any notice from the Directorate concerned calling/inviting applications for such schemes from villagers/farmers. "This has led to reluctance of the staff in receiving unsolicited applications from local farmers for different schemes under the department," the source disclosed, and added that in certain cases, some applications were blindly forwarded to the directorate office at Imphal.