As the strike called by meat traders ran into its fifth day, its ripple effects were felt in the city.
While mutton remained largely unavailable in the city, it sent the price of chicken shooting through the roof.
“Mutton was largely not available in the market,” said
Lata Mehra, a resident of Patparganj in East Delhi. “Those who were selling it were charging anything between Rs. 300 and Rs 320.”
Traders have now threatened to call a national strike if the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) does not roll back its decision to shift to move the slaughterhouse to Ghazipur.
The Supreme Court will decide on the issue on October 28.
The All India Jamiat-ul-Queresh, an umbrella body of meat trading Quresh community, has threatened an indefinite strike if the ruling is not in their favour.
Not only this, the fish and chicken associations have also decided to support them by joining them in the strike.
“The new slaughterhouse at Ghazipur is next to a huge landfill site and is unhygienic,” said Sirajuddin Qureshi, president of All India Jamiat-ul-Quresh. “The MCD has been misleading the court and has not provided many necessary facilities there.”
He added that the slaughtering charges are also very high at the new abattoir.
The civic agency, in the meanwhile, is planning to cancel the licenses of the traders who are refusing to shift to Ghazipur.
“We are only carrying out a court order,” said MCD Commissioner K.S. Mehra. “We have provided a state-of-the-art facility at the Ghazipur slaughterhouse.”
There is a large sanitary landfill site adjacent to the slaughterhouse and traders are finding it difficult to work there.
“That garbage dump not only releases dangerous gases, but it also attracts all kinds of birds. It is impossible to work there,” said Tehseem Queresh, a trader. “The MCD had promised to reclaim the landfill site but even now it is lying there.”
The association has demanded that more slaughterhouses be opened in the city to cater to the demands of the city.
“The Ghazipur slaughterhouse can’t handle the demand of the entire city. This will give excuse to the people to carry on illegal slaughtering in the city. Nearly four such slaughterhouses are required for Delhi,” added Sirajuddin Qureshi.
There are also complaints about the distance and bad roads.
“The roads are damaged.
The distance between the slaughtering line and live stock market is far and it stinks here,” said Samiuddin Qureshi, who trades in lamb, goat and buffalo products.
He said that the government should have involved the traders in the planning of new abattoir.