Neglected for long, Government Veterinary Hospital in city falls apart

Neglected for long, Government Veterinary Hospital in city falls apart

Submitted by alvin on Sun, 2016-05-15 09:36 Bengaluru: Broken fence, cracked sealing, abandoned dog kennel, and severely understaffed, this is the state of the 93-year-old Government Veterinary Hospital located in the Cantonment area in Bengaluru.Set up by the British in 1923, the hospital, spread over three acres, could treat 300 animals. Now, the hospital is in a shambles.The Siddaramaiah government had sanctioned Rs six crores to the Animal Husbandry Department, which controls the hospital, for the development of the hospital in the 2015 budget after reports of the hospital’s precarious state reached Vidhana Soudha.A new hospital was supposed to be built in two phases, but due to procedural delays, the construction for the hospital never began.When contacted for a reply, officials concerned came up with an excuse.“The tender has been finalised and the Karnataka Housing Board which has been asked to demolish the building and build a new one will soon start the construction,” said Dr G Nagendra, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department.“The delay was due to the Government Veterinary College in Hebbal seeking funds to upgrade the college hospital. But now that demand has been scrapped and the college has been asked to send in a new proposal. And the allocated funds will be utilized only to develop this hospital.”The hospital will have an office at the district level, large and small animal section in first phase and library and laboratory in the second phase.Female staff live in fear of hoodlumsThe dilapidated, abandoned kennels and other rooms have also become hideouts for drug addicts, posing a danger to the female staff at the hospital. “These boys are drug addicts and police keep picking them up based on complaints. Due to such reasons, staff shut the hospital by 5:00 pm. We don’t attend to any complaints after 5pm,” said Charulatha, a group D staff.Around 100 animals are treated on a daily basis by the hospital, which gets visitors from even places like Kolar, Malur and Bangarpet as there is a train facility.Basava P, who works in automobile showroom on CSI road said, “The footpath connecting the hospital wall is broken. It collapsed along with the wall when it rained heavily last year. It is a death trap for pedestrians.”Lokesh, a resident of Vasantnagar and a small time milk vendor, said that he and his family also avoid using the footpath on either side of the hospital as it is dangerous.  Animal rights activist Tony Freer said timely treatment was becoming rare at the hospital. “When we take injured dogs on time, we don’t get timely and quality treatment as it lacks infrastructure and staff.”Idrees C, a resident of pottery town, said the hospital used to see heavy rush of pet owners but visitors started dwindling as the city developed. “Residents owning goats and cows came down. It also did not help that the hospital is in a shambles.”