THE ANIMAL dairy farm in Gawaliwada area of Khadki houses nearly 800 cows and buffaloes, which is almost five times more than its actual capacity.
The three-decade-old farm is entirely run by civilians and operated under the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB). However, poor hygienic conditions have led to a drastic dip in takers for the milk reared from the animals at the shelter.
A review meeting was recently held in the matter, following which the board has sought a report from the officials concerned.
Talking to The Indian Express, KCB CEO Amol Jagtap said, “A committee has been entrusted with visiting the farm and keeping a check on the animals. Depending on the findings, we will take required steps.”
According to KCB members, one of the main reasons for the “dismal” situation of the farm was “years of negligence”.
Most people depended on milk from military farms and, of late, have been going for packaged milk.
At present, every owner whose animal is being reared at this farm has to pay Rs 5-10 per month, said a member.
Manish Anand, one of the board members, said, “There are no proper sheds to tie the animals here, they are served food in an extremely unhygienic space. There is no compound wall here, which makes it difficult to keep the animals within the farm limits.”
He added that there have been instances in the past when animals have attacked people and entered the homes of locals.
Another member added that the government, during 2008-2014, had sanctioned a sum of Rs 25 lakh for renovation and upgradation of the farm, however, nothing translated on ground level.
Anand said, “The building being an old one, needs urgent repair works. If there are proper sheds provided, there can be better utilization of available space, which can then accommodate animals in a proper manner.”
Asked about the repair work the board was likely to focus on if the number of animals at the shelter increased, Jagtap said, “We will take action against the owners and rehabilitate them. Repair work of sheds is the only feasible option.”
A board member added that if the farm was run in a systematic manner, the board can improve its revenue along with providing better living conditions for these animals, the board members suggested.