KARIMNAGAR: With Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday announcing resumption of Sheep Rearing Scheme (SRS) in the state, 36,149 beneficiaries belonging to erstwhile Karimnagar district, who could not get sheep in the earlier two phases, are pinning hopes on finally getting their sheep.
The state government had introduced SRS in 2017 to economically benefit shepherd families, whose livelihood is dependent on rearing sheep. The government also wanted to revive the livestock economy in the state.
Under the scheme, beneficiaries had to pay 25 percent of the cost, while the government would extend the remaining 75 percent as subsidy for purchasing the sheep.
After launch of SRS, officials in the erstwhile Karimnagar district received applications from shepherd families and selected 85,343 of them for distribution of sheep in two phases. In the first phase, they gave 40,439 sheep units out of the targeted 42,792 beneficiaries. Of these, 9,739 units were distributed in Jagtial district, 7,518 in Rajanna Sircilla, 10,180 in Peddapalli and 13,002 units in Karimnagar district.
In the second phase, officials distributed only 8,755 sheep units of the targeted 42,551, 5,198 in Jagtial and 3,557 in Rajanna Sircilla district. The second phase of distribution did not take place in Karimnagar and Peddapalli districts at all.
With CM KCR’s announcement, 36,149 beneficiaries in the four districts are finally hoping to get their sheep units.
Of them, 3,772 members from united Karimnagar district have already paid their share of Rs.11.78 crore to the government in the form of DDs at the rate of Rs. 31,250 per unit.
Those hoping to get sheep units now wish that the government grants them healthy sheep. Many beneficiaries in the first two phases got unhealthy animals bought by government officials from neighbouring districts, which they had to sell off at a loss.
There was also an instance of Animal Husbandry Department officials creating fake records of purchasing of 585 sheep units. An inquiry proved this and action has also been taken against these officials.
Beneficiary shepherds have urged officials to distribute them healthier flocks of sheep, unlike in the past, so that they could make profits. They said many sheep supplied in the earlier lot could also not acclimatise themselves to conditions prevailing in the region.