Tribune News Service
Panchkula, December 24
The helpline, started by the Animal Husbandry Department to address queries of residents regarding bird flu, does not seem to be serving its purpose.
The apathy of the Animal Husbandry authorities came to the fore today after panic-stricken residents of a society in Sector 20 made several calls at their helpline number to report about a dead pigeon.
On the contrary, instead of addressing the grievances of the residents, the officials allegedly asked them to collect the pigeon in a polybag and drop the same at their office.
The residents alleged that the officials told them that if they wanted the pigeon samples to be sent for testing, they should drop the same at their office.
“What is the use of starting a helpline if we have to remove the bird and send it to their office? The officials are not taking the matter seriously,” said a resident not wishing to be named. Meanwhile, Dr MR Singla, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department, said, “We have been receiving crank calls regarding the bird flu on the helpline. People have been calling up from Jind and Yamunanagar that a bird has been found dead in their locality and we should remove the same.”
“I’m repeatedly informing people that precautions are to be taken within a radius of 10 km from the Sukhna Lake but we are getting calls from far-off places,” he added.
Singla said he had been receiving more than 20 calls daily from different places to remove dead birds. “Can’t birds die of cold? The bird flu scare is unnecessary,” said Singla.
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