Jagatsinghpur Nov 15 (Localwire) Dual fees for collecting veterinary samples are drawing ire of the locals at Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, who are accusing vet department employees of harassing them for blood, urine and stool examination of their domestic animals.
There is only one District Diagnostic Laboratory ( DDL) at Jagatsinghpur district headquarters. People from across eight blocks and two municipalities spend quite a lumpsome amount of money for travelling expenses to come to this centre for blood, urine and stool tests of domestic animals.
Earlier, locals used to collect blood, urine, and stool of domestic animals either by a concerned person or through live stock inspectors and sent it DDL, where Rs 20 was charged for blood testing, and Rs 5 for urine and stool testing each.
Now, from Nov 1, the veterinary department has decided that blood, urine and stool samples of domestic animals will be collected after taking reference from local Livestock Inspector (LI) or Veterinary Assistant Surgeon (VAS). Without their reference, DDL will not accept the samples for laboratory testing.
The department is charging Rs 3 in urban areas and Rs 2 in rural areas for getting reference and certificate from LI or VAS. After taking reference from LI, one has to pay another Rs 20 for blood testing and Rs 5 for urine and stool testing respectively at DDL.
Samir Pradhan, a farmer from Jiraelo of Erasama, told Localwire he was made to return from DDL without getting his three cows tested as did not have any reference.
Ironically, many LI centres are running only in pen and papers due to lack of regular appointment to fill up vacancies to the post. Hence, many farmers fail to arrange references required at DDL.
Pertinently, the state government has exempted all user fees for treatment and pathological testing for human beings at government-run hospitals.
Farmers Umesh Senapatim Ramesh Baral, Jatadhari Das and others of Haripur village under Kujang area said LI centre at Haripur has not been opened since four years while Rs 5.33 lakh has been spent for construction of its building. Another LI centre at Potanai is occasionally opened. Out of 98 LI centres, nearly 48 centres have no permanent LIs.
Locals demanded to stop this practice or stop the collection of dual user fees from farmers, more so, as this rule has been implemented exclusively in this district.
Defending their stand, Chief District Veterinary Officer Ramesh Chandra Behera said the rule has been introduced in the district for the first time to know the statics, and to raise the fund of the department towards user fee.
Last year, the department had collected Rs 20,816 towards user fees, while this year, the collection is Rs 53, 289, he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director (disease control) Bira Kishore Parida clarified: “There is no compulsion to charge user fee or to obtain certificate from LIs to send blood, urine, and stool sample to DDL for its testing. It is illegal to send back farmers without testing samples.”