No veterinary doctor at blackbuck treatment centre

Berhampur: Opened by the Odisha government in August last year, the blackbuck treatment dispensary-cum-rescue centre at Charimaili near Aska in Ganjam district does not have a veterinary doctor.

The centre was established at an expenditure of Rs 18 lakh from the blackbuck habitat development fund, officials said. The government had sanctioned for the post of a veterinary doctor to provide treatment to the injured animals.

The number of blackbucks injured due to road mishaps has gone up. “Many have succumbed to injuries due to lack of immediate treatment,” claimed Amulya Upadhaya, President of Ganjam district blackbuck protection committee.

While officials maintain that 15 blackbucks died in the district during last nine months, most of them due to road accidents, Upadhaya claimed the number of casualties was more.

The injured blackbucks are taken to veterinary hospital at Aska, about 5 km away, for treatment, official sources said.

Blackbuck, an endangered animal, is only sighted in some pockets of Ganjam district of the state after it became near-extinct at Balukhanda in Puri district. The population of the animal was 3,806 in Ganjam district in March 2015. Most of the animals are sighted at Balipadara-Bhetanai region near Aska, the sources said.

“We have apprised the government about non-posting of a veterinary doctor at the centre,” Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Ghumusar South, B K Acharya said.

He, however, said the forest department staff, posted at the centre, provide first-aid to the injured blackbucks before they are referred to the Aska hospital.