The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration said on Monday that all meat shops in Noida and Greater Noida selling mutton, chicken, fish or buffalo meat are illegal. Most of these shops in the two cities have been shut in the past few days as they do not comply with the requisite conditions to operate.
Officials of the food safety and drug administration (FSDA) department maintain that all meat shops in the district were running illegally as they did not have a licence.
“Possessing a certificate of registration is irrelevant. They were never issued any licence as they did not fulfil the conditions mandatory to run a meat shop. We will soon begin the process of issuing licences to meat sellers who fulfil all norms,” said Mahendra Srivastava, designated officer for FSDA in Gautam Budh Nagar. FSDA is the licencing authority for selling meat in the district.
When asked how some meat shops are still operational in parts of Noida, he said,“We sealed all of them. If anyone has reopened their shop, we will take action against them.”
He added that the FSDA will be able to issue a licence only if the applicant shows them all the required documents, including a no-objection certificate (NOC).
“A NOC from the local authority (Noida or Greater Noida) is the first important document required to obtain a licence. If the authorities do not issue NOC, we cannot issue a licence,” said Srivastava.
However, the Noida and Greater Noida authorities, which act as municipal corporations in their respective areas, do not have a policy in place for meat shops.
“We are studying the policies of other municipal bodies on giving permissions for meat shops so that we can draft one for Noida and Greater Noida. As of now, we do not have any policy in place to be able to give permissions to meat shop owners,” said Deepak Agarwal, chief executive officer, Noida and Greater Noida authorities.
Officials of the district administration said around 80 meat shops operating in Noida’s sectors 5, 8, 9 and 70, in Noida were shut because they were not following the norms.
However, customers of such shops asked why the administration did not act earlier and had been allowing meat shops to run without a licence.
“Why did the police or the administration not act against these shops earlier if they were operating without fulfilling the conditions? The authorities should have ensured that only authorised shops were operating so that consumers got hygienic meat and chicken. It means the government is not concerned about people consuming meat from these illegal shops,” said Tikam Singh of Sector 27.
Some officials, who were not willing to go on record, said the previous state government did not give them the liberty to act against illegal meat shops.
“Now, the government orders are to shut down all illegal meat shops, so we are doing that,” said Srivastava.