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Punjab

Posted at: Nov 9, 2018, 1:56 AM; last updated: Nov 9, 2018, 1:56 AM (IST)

Gau Commission lies defunct, ex-chief blames govt apathy

Projects ‘dismissed’

  • During the SAD-BJP rule, the RSS had pushed several ambitious projects like Gau Sewa Commission, a statutory commission for the protection of cow; a cow memorial at Joga in Mansa, where it was claimed that cows had been slaughtered; and free power to 472 gaushalas. The then Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, had himself shown interest in establishing desi cow clusters in Punjab and even Milkfed was asked to commercially market the milk of desi cow. However, all projects seem to have gone out of favour of the present regime.
Gau Commission lies defunct, ex-chief blames govt apathy

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 8

After the SAD-BJP government lost power in state last year, initiatives taken for the promotion and protection of cows by the state have been dumped by the present government.

During the 10-year SAD-BJP rule, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had pushed several ambitious projects like establishing the Gau Sewa Commission, a statutory commission for the protection of cow; starting work on building a cow memorial at Joga in Mansa, where it was claimed that cows had been slaughtered; and extending free power to 472 gaushalas.

The then Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, had himself shown interest in establishing desi cow clusters in Punjab and even Milkfed was asked to commercially market the milk of desi cow.

However, all projects seem to have gone out of favour of the present regime.

Among these projects, the Gau Sewa Commission was the most ambitious project. At one point of time, dairy farmers had also accused the commission of protecting the cow vigilantes, who were allegedly ruining their trade. Even at that time, the Progressive Dairy Farmers Association had demanded that the commission should be closed down.

Now the commission has been virtually shut down without any member or chairman. After the term of the last chairman, Keemti Bhagat, and all six members ended around a year back, no fresh appointments were made.

Under the RSS pressure, the previous government had also acquired one acre of land to build a cow memorial at Joga village in Mansa district. It was claimed that around 100 cows had been slaughtered at a bone-crushing unit located there. However, the construction could not start as the Nagar Panchayat passed a unanimous resolution against the project stating that it would disturb peace and harmony in the area. The present government has completely abandoned the project.

The biggest financial benefit extended in the name of cows was free power to 472 gaushalas. The state government was to foot an annual bill of Rs 4.57 crore for free power.

However, the Finance Department expressed inability to spare any budget for the same and the PSPCL started disconnecting the connections of the gaushalas, which failed to pay their bills. Besides, cow pounds had been built in each district. Barring a few, most of them are lying defunct as the government has failed to pay monthly maintenance for them.

Keemti Bhagat, former chairman of the Gau Sewa Commission, accused the state government of apathy towards cows. “Whatever work we did, they are undoing it.”

However, Daljit Sadarpur, president, state Progressive Dairy Farmers Association, alleged the commission had failed to do its duties and the only work it was able to do was protect cow vigilante groups that were “hell bent on destroying the Rs 25,00-crore dairy farming business” in the state.

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