Days after announcing a cow ministry dedicated to the welfare and protection of the animal's rights in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said his government will soon launch "Cow Express" as a dedicated emergency health service on wheels for ailing bovines.
The scheme, to be launched on 15 October, is an emergency medical service that will feature vehicles — not trains, as the name would suggest — with a veterinarian and an attendant on board ready to provide medical assistance to ailing cows. The state has also launched a dedicated helpline, 1962, which people can use to avail the services, CNN-News18 reported.
The government has been running a pilot project in 11 districts of Madhya Pradesh and is planning to launch the scheme in full in 313 blocks across the state.
The "Cow Express" scheme was launched as part of the Kamdhenu Gau Abhayaranya project. Interestingly, a July 2018 report by The Indian Express claimed that the state's bovine welfare programme has been facing a shortage of funds for its operations.
According to reports, cow deaths have become a major headache for the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, especially after carcasses of six cows buried hurriedly near a Ram temple emerged in Rewa.
According to a report by The Indian Express, cattle deaths in rail accidents have seen a sharp jump in the past few years. "From just about 2,183 cases across the Indian Railways in 2015-16, the number jumped to over 10,105 in the financial year ending March 2018, signifying a 362 percent rise," the report said, adding that between April and August 2018, "6,900 cattle died after being hit by running trains, a 112 percent jump from the same period last fiscal".
Madhya Pradesh-based Central Railway accounts for nearly 18 percent of all cattle deaths on tracks, the report added.
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Updated Date: Oct 03, 2018 16:15:04 IST