When most meat traders of the city were panicking due to the state government’s drive against illegal meat shops and slaughterhouses, there were those who saw an opportunity there to establish legitimate businesses.
Sartaj Quraishi, who had been running an unregistered meat shop, decided to get his house in order. He quickly bought a new shop, refurbished it to meet the criteria mentioned in guidelines, and applied for a no-objection certificate (NOC). “When several meat shops closed down in Rabritola, I refurbished an old shop and applied for the NOC,” said Sartaj.
Last week, officials inspected his shop and a few days later, he became one of those meat traders who received their license in the first phase.
Like him, his relative Rehmat Quraishi of Hajiyapur, who had never operated a meat outlet, also received a license. Despite not having any experience of running the business, Rehmat did his groundwork well. He bought a shop and equipped it to meet the guidelines laid down for meat outlets. “The crackdown proved good for my business. Though many shops closed, I followed the rules and was able to open a new shop,” he said.
However, there were others who were neither as fortunate nor as prepared.
Raees Ahmed, a tailor in Siklapur area, also hoped to make the best of the situation. To boost his dwindling earnings, he decided to open a meat shop, and applied for an NOC from the Bareilly Nagar Nigam (BNN).
“Three meat shops in my locality closed down following the crackdown. There was a need for a new meat shop so I applied,” he said.
But when a team reached his house to inspect the place, they found only his tailoring shop. Raees’ application was turned down.
Officials said they have cancelled 38 such applications this month. “Owning a functional meat shop is the prerequisite for seeking an NOC. On what basis should we issue an NOC if there is no shop ?” asked an officer.
In the aftermath of the government’s drive against illegal meat outlets, the municipality received over 1,300 applications for NOCs. The majority of these came from those who had already owned meat shops, but there were several first-timers too. Of these, only those who had created suitable infrastructure were given licenses.
“Out of the total applications, around 200 were filed by people who had never owned any meat shop,” said I S Singh, additional municipal commissioner of BNN. “So, our officials first visit the shop before taking any decision.”