Even after 11 years of planning, the municipal corporation of Chandigarh has failed to even find consultants to set up a modern, air-conditioned bird slaughterhouse to ensure hygienic meat supply to the city. The slaughterhouse is to come up in Industrial Area-1. But even the ‘temporary arrangements’ remain on paper five years on.
At present, chicken in particular are slaughtered at the respective shops, and there is little or no guarantee of hygiene even in case of other meat as the MC has failed to implement bylaws framed in this regard in 2010. For slaughter of animals for meat, the MC does have a facility in Industrial Area; though slaughter at shops is not uncommon in this case either.
The MC now plans to take help from its engineering department to set up the bird-slaughter facility.
The MC had approved the proposal to set up the automated poultry-processing plant in a House meeting in August 2003. The first planned step was to hire a consultant, but tender notices issued four times in the past nine years failed to lead to any material progress. “Barely two or three bidders came in, but the negotiations fell through,” said a source.
Even in 2012, the then mayor Raj Bala Malik constituted a committee under the chairmanship of nominated councillor Surinder Bahga for the project. Though the committee visited various slaughterhouses in the region to study their plans, it did not submit its report and was disbanded in 2013 by the next mayor, Subhash Chawla. Bahga said the “poor functioning” of the civic body had come to fore in the decision to abolish the committee.
When contacted, Dr MS Kamboj, superintendent (slaughter), MC, said, “The tender did not get the intended takers probably because the region does not have the required experts. We had even written for consultancy to the National Poultry Board in New Delhi, but did not get any response.”
“We have decided to take help from our own engineering department for setting up the modern slaughterhouse,” he added, also claiming that “we tried our level best to begin operations from the temporary slaughterhouse, but due to protest by members of the Chandigarh Meat Association, that could not work”.
The meat-sellers have not only succeeded in stalling the temporary arrangements but do not face any action either. Despite notification of the amended Meat Bylaws (Regulation for Sale of Meat, Fish and Poultry) in 2010, the MC has failed to ensure supply of stamp-approved, quality-checked chicken. It has happened for the first time that after notification from the UT administration any bylaws could not be implemented at all. The intended plan was to implement the bylaws from April 20, 2010, but vendors have faced no action.