JAISALMER: Scorching heat and drought in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts have spelled doom for the cattle population, with many dying from thirst and lack of fodder.
Following shortage of rains last year, the state government had declared 91% or 2,478 villages in Barmer and 726 villages in Jaisalmer as scarcity-hit.
But despite this, no drought relief works and cattle camps have been set up by the administration. Dozens of cows are dying in various areas on a daily basis.
Ponds have dried up and the water level has gone very low in tanks due to closure of canals.
Jaisalmer district collector Matadeen Sharma confirmed that there was a problem of water and fodder in many villages and that he had received complaints of cattle dying in many places.
Since the monsoon starts only after the second week of July, it is important to arrange water and fodder for cattle in the intervening months.
Barmer district collector Sudhir Sharma too accepted that the situation had become worse. Out of the 2,727 revenue villages in the district, 2,478 of them have been declared scarcity-hit.
Over the last three years, the number of such villages has increased in the district, hitting a peak this year.
This reporter visited many places in the district, including Chandhan, Loharki, Ramgarh, Dhaua, Shiplap, Khuhadi, Hatar, Falia, Bairisiyala, Maneli, Myazlar, etc., and found that the condition of livestock had indeed become worse.