Karnataka: BSY govt wastes scarce vets in inapt posts

Karnataka: BSY govt wastes scarce vets in inapt posts

The notification states that Chief Minister Yediyurappa had cleared the appointments.

In a fresh controversy, the BS Yediyurappa administration has appointed veterinary doctors to posts they have nothing to do with, leading to anger among legislators and bureaucrats given the acute shortage of veterinarians in the state. 

Earlier this week, the Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences (AHVS) department headed by its minister Prabhu Chauhan issued a notification deputing eight veterinary doctors as executive officers at the taluk panchayats of Vijayapura, Raibag, Gadag, Bhadravathi, Hassan, Sakleshpur, Sindgi and Haveri.

The notification states that Chief Minister Yediyurappa had cleared the appointments. 

Taluk panchayats come under the Rural Development & Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department headed by K S Eshwarappa, who is seen as Yediyurappa’s rival.

The post of an executive officer at a taluk panchayat is administrative in nature but is considered “lucrative” given the fund flow. Apparently, the RDPR department was not consulted when the vets were deputed to taluk panchayats. 

As a result, senior IAS officer L K Atheeq, the RDPR principal secretary, is learnt to have returned this file to the Chief Minister’s Office, refusing to allow vets to assume charge. 

Karnataka faces a shortage of veterinary officers, according to the government. In all, there are 3,317 sanctioned posts for chief veterinary officers, senior veterinary officers and veterinary officers. Of them, 1,207 posts are vacant.

“Why is the AHVS department sending its people all over the place when they have such a serious shortage of veterinary doctors?” asked one RDPR official. “Not only were we not consulted, but they even decided which taluks the doctors will be posted in. We don’t want to take them because we have our own staff.”

Under the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition, the then Animal Husbandry Minister Venkatrao Nadagouda decided to recall veterinary doctors deputed to the RDPR department “so that they can get back to treating animals”. Accordingly, in January 2019, as many as 20 doctors working as taluk panchayat executive officers under the RDPR department were repatriated to the AVHS department. 

That legislators are irked became evident when BJP’s P Rajeev, the Kudachi MLA who heads the Karnataka Thanda Development Corporation, wrote to the RDPR department Friday not to approve the deputation of one of the doctors to the Raibag taluk panchayat.

Another legislator, former minister M C Managuli (Sindgi) of the JD(S) is said to have opposed the deputation of a veterinary doctor to his taluk panchayat.