A majority of meat sellers in the district closed shop on Thursday as teams of district officials and police are cracking down on those operating without the requisite licence from the corporation.
Since Yogi Adityanath took over as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, the officials and police in Ghaziabad have been actively taking up the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra’, in which the party promised immediate closure of illegal and mechanised slaughterhouses. Officials also cracked down on meat shops in Ghaziabad city, Khoda, Loni and Dasna.
“These shops have been closed as none of them procured an operational licence from the corporation to sell mutton, chicken. As per by-laws, there should not be slaughtering in the shops and they should procure meat only from authorised slaughterhouses/markets. A team has been formed in each of the five zones to check such instances,” said Dr RK Yadav, the city health officer, Ghaziabad municipal corporation.
Those selling meat have shut shop fearing action by officials and have decided not to open their shops till they receive instructions in the regard and obtain necessary licences.
“All shops in Dasna are closed till we get instructions to open them after procuring licences from the government. When politicians are not ready to speak up, why should we? We have closed the shops as we don’t have a licence to operate,” Mehtab Qureshi, a shop owner from Dasna, said.
Shopkeepers, however, admitted that it is hard to comply with many regulations that are necessary to procure a licence. “We are required to have a storage facility and black films on glasses to avoid public view. However, we have small shops which are now closed. We mostly procure chicken from Ghazipur market where rates vary on a daily basis. Normally, chicken is available between Rs100 and Rs110 apiece and we sell it around Rs140,” Akram, a shop owner from Khoda, said.
Residents said that the shops were operating on roadsides or near residential areas as no special provisions were made earlier in the master plan.
“In a majority of highrises, the convenience shops have been set up by big brands. Getting a small kiosk here is out of the question for a small shopkeeper. Still, people need the shops to open to buy meat. The shops should be provided requisite licences,” Sudeepta Pal of Windsor Park in Indirapuram said.
The district magistrate, Nidhi Kesarwani, said that she has directed the corporation and ‘nagar palikas’ to crack down on slaughterhouses and meat shops running without necessary permissions.
“We have asked the municipal corporation to open a single window, with the help of other departments, for (meat) shop owners to submit their applications for licences. Such shops (running without a licence) do not provide any revenue to the state at present. The shop owners should procure meat from markets and bring it to their shops to sell further to residents,” she said.