Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 13
The state has missed eight deadlines to complete the 20th Livestock Census, while the ninth falls on Wednesday. Looking at the situation, Punjab is most likely to breach this deadline too.
The 20th Livestock Census was started in October last year and was to be conducted on tablets in all districts of the country in participation with all states and Union Territories. Besides Assam, Punjab is the only state in the country that has not completed the work, sources revealed.
Most of the states procured the tablets well in time and started work as per the schedule. The deadline was December 31 last year. However, Punjab was completely clueless and had even failed to procure the tablets by then. The Union Government, which was funding the census, wanted tablets to be procured through the government procurement portal, but the state government was reluctant. It led to the delay in release of funds.
The state could get over 1,800 tablets only in the end of March this year and the work started only in April. It is an online census where data gets updated in real time.
Since then Punjab is continuously getting the deadlines extended. Sources privy to the development said even at present, work seemed nowhere near completion. The next deadline falls on August 14, which Punjab is unlikely to meet. A senior functionary of the department, who preferred anonymity, said Punjab might not be able to complete the work for several weeks.
The department officials say the reason behind the delay was unavailability of tablets and then congestion of the server. Dr Inderjit Singh, Director Animal Husbandry, said, “We started the work late because tablets were not available. Then server gave us trouble and data couldn’t be updated. Besides, we are also suffering from acute shortage of staff.”
He claimed that the work was now at an advanced stage and it would likely be completed within this month.
Species to be covered
- The livestock census is conducted across the country periodically since 1919-20.
- It covers all domesticated animals and headcounts of those animals.
- Species of animals include buffalo, mithun, yak, sheep, goat, pig, horse, pony, mule, donkey, camel, dog, rabbit and elephant and poultry birds (fowl, duck, emu, turkeys, quail and others).
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