The crackdown on illegal meat shops in the state has not affected businesses in Noida and Greater Noida as most of the shops selling chicken, mutton and fish were found to be licensed.
According to the police, two and a half dozen meat shops found running illegally were sealed. These shops were largely found in villages and slum clusters, while those in the city area had proper approval from the agencies concerned.
Officials said the crackdown has not hampered business and customers have now started buying meat from the licensed shops. They also said that the unauthorised shops were selling meat at rates at a par with the authorised ones.
“Most of the 100 meat shops in the jurisdiction of Noida and Greater Noida were found to be legal. The illegal ones were immediately sealed, but it has not caused any problems to the general public as they catered to very few customers,” said Dharmendra Singh, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Gautam Budh Nagar.
In Noida, some people used to sell meat on the roadsides. “We visited them and told them to wind up their businesses. It was also a health hazard for the public. As they would sell meat on carts, there was no question of sealing them,” he said.
Mohammed Shakeel, who used to sell mutton on the roadside in Sector 70, said, “Once we were asked to shut down, we closed the business. We know opening it again will escalate the matter. We had a good chain of customers who used to come from their offices to buy mutton from us.”
Restaurants and shops in the city majorly source meat from the Ghazipur market in Delhi and also comply with the National Green Tribunal’s orders that none of the places selling meat can slaughter animals on their premises.
“There is no slaughterhouse in Noida from where meat can be sourced. Everyone is dependent on Ghazipur. The illegal shops that have been closed down used to have a small quantity of meat for retail selling,” said Mohammed Jahangir, manager of Nazeer restaurant in Sector 50.
NP Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, on Saturday directed police officers to inform the owners of unauthorised meat shops that they can get the requisite licences from Noida and Greater Noida authorities.
“To continue their business, these shop owners have to submit the necessary documents with Noida and Greater Noida authorities to get a licence. In rural areas, the municipal councils and committees are authorised to issue licences,” he said.