LAHORE: Flood in various parts of south Punjab has washed away seven cattle markets besides impacting adversely business in major sale points, including Lahore’s Shahpur Kanjran that receive a large number of animals from Sindh and Balochistan — the most flood-affected provinces.

The impact of floods on Punjab cattle markets is unprecedented, as the animal trade in major markets, which was already disturbed due to Lumpy Skin Decease (LSD), has further reduced to a minimum level and is also expected to go down in coming months due to causalities of hundreds of thousands of cows, calves, buffaloes, goats and camels in south Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.

“The floods hit Dera Ghazi Khan last month and washed away seven of the total 22 cattle markets in this division. These markets are still inundated and no trade is possible till receding of water and rebuilding of infrastructure,” says Local Government and Community Development Department Director General Ms Kausar Khan.

“The infrastructure that included loading/unloading ramps for trucks, charpoys for visitors, fodder mangers, toilets, water pumps and water tanks for human consumption and for animals and office equipment have vanished,” Ms Khan, who also heads the Punjab Cattle Market Management & Development Company, said while talking to Dawn on Saturday.

Seven out of 22 sale points in DGK washed away; markets given fee waiver as per damage

It merits mentioning that the PCMMDC is a public sector not-for-profit entity, established under the provisions of Section 42 of the Companies Act-2017.

The main objectives of the company are to provide trading platforms to buyers and sellers of cattle and general public by establishing, organising, managing, operating and regulating cattle markets throughout Punjab.

Ms Kausar said the company received most early flood warning through its DG Khan division’s chief operating officer and the Pul Qambar (DG Khan) was the first cattle market that was closed on Aug 2 on the orders of the deputy commissioner. Another mayhem that affected the cattle farmers and breeders, which started from Sindh around three months ago, also crept into Punjab, is the lumpy skin disease.

Since this decease has already affected the animal trade business in Punjab with reduced inflow of animals into some of the cattle markets in Chakwal district, the business in all other cattle markets also slowed down. But the floods, later destroyed everything, making all markets deserted as several livestock farms and home-keeping animal places were swept by waters.

“To assess the overall damage, a survey was conducted wherein each divisional chief operating officer was tasked to measure the reduction in animal footfall as compared to normal days. The results of the survey shows an almost 90pc decrease in animals coming to various cattle markets in Punjab,” Ms Khan said.

She said the data on impact of floods and LSD was placed before the board of directors in a recent meeting. After thorough deliberations, the BoD has decided to give them relief to cattle markets as per intensity of the floods’ impact on the business volume.

She said the DG Khan cattle markets have been recommended for exemption from levy/parking fee for four to eight weeks, followed by Lahore cattle markets that will have 50pc waiver in the fee for three months and Sahiwal where 30 to 50pc waiver for three months has been recommended. Similarly Faisalabad division’s cattle markets will also have a partial waiver from fee for eight weeks, Gujranwala for four weeks, Sargodha (eight weeks), Rawalpindi (12 weeks) and Bahawalpur (four weeks).

“We will soon launch rehabilitation of seven of total 22 markets of DG Khan division,” Ms Khan added.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2022

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