230 Amrit Mahal cattle rescued from slush in Hassan

Last Updated 28 October 2019, 18:33 IST

The native Amrit Mahal breed of cattle in the Amrit Mahal Kaval of Rayasamudra in Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district were languishing for a couple of days in a slushy shed.

Following heavy rains in the region, the shed of the native breed (on 1,542 acres of land) had become slushy. The cattle, numbering 230, could not even squat on the ground, as there was over one-foot deep slush. The muddy surface was soaked in rainwater, mixed with their dung.

Deputy Director for Animal Husbandry Dr H P Janaki said, all the 230 cattle, including eight oxen, were shifted out of the shed on Sunday, and moved to another Amrit Mahal Kaval land at Bidare, 20 km away towards Arsikere border.

Dr Ramesh Kumar, Deputy Director in-charge of Amrit Mahal kavals, from Ajjampura in Chikkamagaluru district, admitted that it was a lapse on the part of the staff, most of whom are on contract.

“A veterinarian visits Rayasamudra kaval twice or thrice a week. There is one woman inspector and seven contract workers in Rayasamudra. The shed, measuring approximately 100X40 feet, is low-lying and was flooded with rainwater. During the day, the cattle graze on the grounds. During the night they were inconvenienced,” he said.

“On Sunday, higher officials, including Commissioner Upendra Prathap Singh and Director Dr M T Manjunath, visited Rayasamudra to monitor the shifting. A few veterinarians and supporting staff managed to shift the cattle to Bidare. The authorities have taken up works on construction of a new shed at a cost of Rs 50 lakh and the works are expected to be completed in a fortnight. Then, the 230 cattle will return to Rayasamudra,” he said.

Amrith Mahal cattle was popular during the reign of the Wadiyar kings of the erstwhile Mysuru state and also during the Vijayanagar Empire.

Dr Ramesh Kumar said, out of 4.13 lakh acres of land available for grazing of cattle in Karnataka, during the days of the Vijayanagar Empire, only 40,000 acres is available now.

When the lands were handed over to the Animal Husbandry department in 1965, there were 68,247 acres of land. But, over 20,000 acres of lands were given for various purposes by the government. Initially, the lands were with the Wadiyar kings, later with the Agriculture Department and then with a separate Amrit Mahal Kaval department,” he said.

“Even out of 40,000 acres of lands, under the kavals, now, people, including farmers, have encroached upon the lands,” he added.

(Published 28 October 2019, 16:45 IST)

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