By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 10 Jun: Chief Minister Dhami has expressed concern over the death of more than a hundred mules in a month on the Kedarnath walking route. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has asked the Animal Husbandry Secretary to submit a report in this regard. It is learnt that he has spoken in this regard to Animal Husbandry Minister Saurabh Bahuguna too. The CM observed that regular health check-ups of horses and mules plying on Kedarnath Dham and Hemkund Sahib Yatra route be done and adequate food, water arrangement be ensured to them. He added that due to greed for quick money, the animal owners were probably neglecting the basic need for food, health checkups, treatment and rest, because of which many lives of the horses and mules were being lost. On the instructions of CM Dhami, Animal Husbandry Minister Saurabh Bahuguna interacted with owners of horses and mules on Kedarnath trek route and warned them of strict action against them if they committed excesses with animals or were exploiting them. Bahuguna also asked the District Magistrates to engage more veterinary doctors from the Animal Husbandry Department on the travel duty. The Animal Husbandry Minister also directed the district administration to make proper arrangements for animal feed on the route. He said that the deaths of horses and mules were very worrisome and it be ensured that animal owners were not overusing or exploiting them, Meanwhile, in a meeting held today, Animal Husbandry Minister Saurabh Bahuguna instructed the officials to prepare a draft for raising the penalty applicable in case of cruelty to the animals as presently the penalties were very low, and did not deter the people from committing cruelty against animals. He said that the draft be prepared for higher penalty and then forwarded to the Centre for approval. n this regard, Secretary Animal Husbandry Department, Dr BVRC Purushottam, himself a veterinary doctor issued a statement yesterday claiming that the department was completely serious about the death of animals on the Kedarnath Dham Yatra route. He informed that the Animal Husbandry Department was continuously monitoring the situation on the Yatra route. The department was providing continuous medical treatment to the animals and facilities to their owners.
He informed that 140 animals had died so far on the Kedarnath Yatra route. So far 6880 animals have been inspected by the department. 1,804 animals had been provided medical treatment. And 118 animals were found unfit for travel. Along with this, 91 animal owners were penalised too. 411 animals were also blocked from carrying pilgrims while 9 FIRs have been registered so far. Purushottam further claimed that arrangements were also being made to clean the water channels continuously.