Not many would know the difference between a bull mother farm (BMF) and a cattle breeding farm (CBF). But two government arms in Madhya Pradesh know, and are thus engaged in a bitter dispute because they want to control the assets that come with these farms.
The tussle between the directorate of animal husbandry and the state livestock development corporation has its genesis in the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBDD), a centrally sponsored scheme that replaced the National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding (NPCBB).
When the new scheme was announced in early 2014, the Centre wanted directorates in states to transfer assets like central semen stations, semen banks and depots, artificial insemination training institutes and BMFs to the livestock corporations within six months.
Madhya Pradesh is yet to do so because the guidelines do not spell out cattle breeding farms. Thus, the two government arms have been sniping at each other and delaying the transfer. At stake are funds running into crores, hundreds of acres of land, vested interests, reputations sullied by corruption charges and a potential strike by thousands of staffers.
Under the NPCBB, the directorate had already transferred the BMF and central semen stations, both in Bhopal, and the cattle breeding farm in Kiratpur to the corporation.
On November 30, the animal husbandry department asked the directorate to transfer the jersey breeding centre in Bhopal and cattle breeding centres in Ratauna (Sagar), Minora (Tikamgarh) and Pavai (Panna), artificial insemination institute in Mandla, and all central semen stations to the corporation. The order followed a clarification by the Centre that BMFs and CBFs are one and the same, because they are mandated to produce disease-free, high genetic merit bulls and improve genetic potential of bull mothers. The Centre said that most states had transferred the assets. A three-member committee was formed to finalise the modalities of the transfer.
Thousands of employees of the directorate have now threatened to go on strike from December 30 to oppose the transfer of assets, and seek removal of corporation managing director Dr H B S Bhadoria, who they allege carried out illegal construction worth crores in the assets under his control by siphoning money from government schemes.
President of Veterinary Council of India Dr Umesh Sharma told The Indian Express that a major portion of the funds worth nearly Rs 150 crore received by the corporation was spent on illegal construction and buying machinery.
Denying the charges, Dr Bhadoria said that those running the campaign against the transfer of assets have vested interests.