Municipality provides ‘sick and old’ cows for free, farmers enraged
August 11, 2019 07:33 AM NPT
By: Arun Bam
Dhauladevi Kathayat of Dipayal-Silgadhi Municipality tends to her sick cow, which was given to her for free by the municipality. The picture was taken last week. The cow’s calf has already died. Arun Bam/Republica
DOTI, Aug 11: His happiness knew no bounds when Dil Bahadur Kathayat, a farmer from Kumalikot village of Dipayal Silgadhi Municipality, received a jersey cow for free on July 24. He was one among the 20 farmers to make it to the list of beneficiaries as the municipality was distributing cows for free.
However, no sooner did he take the cow home, than the problems started. “I couldn’t afford to buy a cow on my own. Getting it for free from the municipality office was a dream come true for me,” said Kathayat. “But I have realized that they provided me a sick and old cow. It is very difficult to look after it, neither is it giving any milk,” he lamented.
Dhauladevi Kathayat is no less upset. She had also dreamt of selling milk to a nearby dairy farm after receiving a cow from the municipality office. “We have been disappointed, the cow is ill,” she said.
According to Tulasi Kathayat, yet another farmer to receive a cow for free from the municipality, she had almost sensed the condition of the cows right at the spot when they were being distributed. They did not look healthy to her.
“Not even a single cow looked okay. They looked so lean and thin, old and ill. Right then my heart sank, I knew taking that home was of no use,” she said.
Mayor Manju Malasi and head of animal husbandry unit of the municipality Dil Bahadur Saud had handed over the cows to the farmers at 5 pm on that day. Some farmers had instantly raised question over the cows’ health. But the duo reportedly told them ‘not to show any drama as somebody else would happily take the cows worth so much for free’. “You are getting it for free.
Either keep it quietly or else someone else will take it,” Tulasi quoted the mayor as saying.
Noticeably, though the cows were given away on 24 July, on the document an earlier date of 16 July has been mentioned. Farmers are now tense also because of the nature of the agreement paper.
“They made us sign a paper while giving the cow. Now it has come to the fore that the paper says we would be deprived of the services provided to us by the municipality if the cow dies due to our negligence. But my cow is going to die, it is so sick. I have not done any negligence,” said Dhanadevi.
According to farmers, they should have been consulted before bringing the cows, which the municipality did not do.
Saud stated that a proper tender process was followed while getting the cows. The municipality purchased 20 cows, each worth Rs 75,000 from the Siddhababa Farm of Balauri, Kanchanpur.
“They are not full jersey but hybrid cows. We purchased them, through a tender from the farm,” said Saud. “The cows meet standard, we had agreed on 200 to 250 kg of a cow and they are of the right weight,” he added.
He claimed that the cows must have fallen sick, shied away from giving milk due to the lack of care or mismanagement of shed. On the other hand, proprietor of Siddhababa Farm, Hira Singh Bista also claimed that he met the demand of the municipality while providing the cows. He said that the cows were imported from Bareilly and Haryana of India.