Claiming that migration of families and cattle from drought-hit Kutch is disturbing the economy of villages near Sanand in Ahmedabad, District Collector Vikrant Pandey on Thursday said that the government will not be able to set up grass depots in places like Sanand that have not been declared as “drought-hit” for providing fodder to cattle.
“Grass will be given only in those places that has been declared as drought-hit. In Ahmedabad district, Mandal, Viramgam and Detroj are the only places that have been declared as drought-hit. There are people who have migrated from Kutch in Sanand, and we have already informed that cattle should not migrate from one district to another. The arrangements for the cattle will be made locally. We cannot provide fodder in places that have not be declared drought-hit,” Pandey said.
“We will not be providing any facility to those migrating and coming into our district…The government has made good arrangement in Kutch and enough grass is being provided in the district. Due to the migration, the economic system of the villages is getting disturbed and these migrations happen on government or “gauchar” land. So we are requesting people to return,” he added.
Pandey said that initially there were 2000 cattle that families migrating from Kutch had brought with them to Sanand. “Slowly it has increased to 10,000,” he said, adding that the migration needed to stop and the district administration has helped some of the families return. Officials fear that the migrating families set up bases on government and gauchar land, which could possibly lead to illegal occupation. The cattle herder families have been migrating out of Kutch in groups since October last as the district is reeling under a severe drought.
Principal Secretary and Ahmedabad district in-charge Sunaina Tomar, who accompanied Pandey, said that there were a total of six grass depots set up in Ahmedabad district through which 20 kg of grass was given per day to every cattle. “A total of 7.44 lakh kg grass have been distributed,” she added.