Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir – In a shocking revelation, the livestock sector in Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Azad Kashmir, has been hit by a corruption scandal. Azadi Times reported on Thursday.
The Livestock Department, entrusted with the responsibility of promoting agriculture and ensuring the welfare of farmers, has been marred by widespread corruption, particularly in the poultry sector. For the past five years, the department’s plan to provide chickens to the public has remained nothing more than a mere formality.
Investigations have uncovered a web of deceit and manipulation, as fake production figures were created to mislead authorities and the public alike. Startlingly, it has been discovered that around 70% of officials within the Livestock and Poultry Development department maintain their own private veterinary stores and poultry farms. Even though they lack their own farms, these officials have managed to secure contracts with private farm owners, further exacerbating the corrupt practices.
The Azad Kashmir Livestock Department, originally envisioned to foster the production of milk, meat, and eggs, has failed spectacularly in fulfilling its core objectives. The recent poultry sector corruption scandal has shed light on the magnitude of the problem. Under the department’s supervision in Muzaffarabad district, the data provided for the distribution of chickens to the public from a single poultry farm has been proven to be fictitious. Investigations have also revealed the inclusion of fabricated names and telephone numbers in the records.
Moreover, it has come to light that department officials have established their own private poultry stores, where they sell medicines and feed for the chickens purportedly being raised on the government farm. Even more alarming is the revelation of a contract between the officials and private farm owners for the disposal of farm waste.
These disposal farms clandestinely operate as outlets for the sale of feed, chickens, and medicines during nighttime. To cut costs and maximize profits, officials have been found to sell only one-day-old chicks to farmers. Unfortunately, due to the lack of proper care, feed, vaccines, and field expenses, these chicks often succumb to premature death within days.
Despite the gravity of the corruption scandal, no significant investigations have been conducted thus far. It is believed that the owners of the disposal poultry farms exert influence over the officials and hinder any attempts to uncover the truth.
Local landlords and farmers have expressed their frustration and called upon the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and the Chief Secretary to intervene. They have urged for thorough physical verification of department records, an investigation into the personal poultry stores and farms of the officials, and swift action against those responsible.
They emphasize the importance of publicly presenting the true facts to restore trust and transparency. Furthermore, it has been observed that a substantial budget allocated to the livestock sector continues to be siphoned off into the pockets of corrupt officials in the form of bribes, further exacerbating the plight of farmers and the agricultural industry.
In light of these shocking revelations, it is imperative for the concerned authorities to take swift action against the perpetrators of this corruption scandal. Restoring integrity and accountability within the Livestock Department is crucial to ensure the welfare of farmers and the growth of the agriculture sector in Azad Kashmir.