Milkman of CM Yogi Adityanath doing Yeoman service to Uttar Pradesh

LUCKNOW: The Yogi government has created a record of sorts by not only ensuring daily milk delivery to the doorstep of a population of approximately Rs 23 million in the state, but has also arranged forage for more than five lakh and ensures that more than 1.50 lakh stray dogs and an equal number of monkeys in and around closed temples are fed daily.

The chief secretary, the dairies and the animal husbandry department, Bhuwanesh Kumar, is responsible for ensuring that the milk chain between rural areas and cities is not broken. He also receives hundreds of videos daily on his mobile phone from his field staff and NGOs dedicated to feeding stray animals during the period of confinement.

The CM has established more than 5,000 cow shelters to accommodate more than five lakh cows. During his daily briefing with officers, he never forgets to ask about the welfare of Kumar's cows. His question: 'Gai theek hain' (Are the cows okay?) Adds more responsibility to Kumar's shoulders, keeping him alert all day. He has opened a 24x7 control room in the APC (Agricultural Production Commissioner) office to oversee operations.

With more than one crore producer, three crore milking animals and eight-liter daily milk production, UP is the state with the highest milk production in the country, with a share of around 18 percent. It is also the largest milk producer in the world. With the country facing blockade due to the spread of Covid-19, Kumar faced an uphill task of ensuring that millions of liters of milk are not wasted, leading to financial losses for people engaged in the trade of dairy products.

Kumar is also known as a curfew expert on the IAS table due to his role in defusing the crisis situation in the communal riots of Aligarh, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut in the past. “My experience in handling such situations is now paying off. I have seen how people suffer in the absence of essential products, Kumar recalled speaking to TOI on Friday.

“From the first day of closing, I asked the home department and district authorities not to block the movement of people transporting milk cans on bicycles. In this way I made sure that the milk supply chain from the town to the dairy plants in the state capital is not broken, ”added the official.

More than 17,000 men, both in the private sector and in the government, participate in the home delivery of milk in the cities. There are no complaints of milk shortages or black marketing, he said. It is true that milk prices have come down a bit, but mikmen are greatly relieved that their products are being sold on the market, said Kumar, who is also CEO of Pradeshik under the Parag trade name. The PCDF along with private dairies is ensuring the adequate milk supply in the state at this time of crisis.

Another challenge before Kumar is ensuring the proper maintenance of 5,000 stables with capacity for more than five lakh of lost cows, a project with which he is emotionally attached. It has already suspended several officers, including a district magistrate, for poor stable maintenance.