Uttarakhand govt to bring in ordinance to shut down slaughterhouses
The Uttarakhand government will bring an ordinance that will empower it to shut down any slaughterhouse in the state, a top government functionary said on Thursday. The Cabinet also decided to allow riverbed mining up to three metres from the earlier 1.5 meters.
The proposals were approved in the state cabinet meeting on Thursday held under the chairmanship of chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Madan Kaushik, spokesperson of the state government and urban development minister, in his media briefing informed that for shutting down a slaughterhouse in any district or civic area, an ordinance will be promulgated by the government that will empower it to close any slaughterhouse.
The cabinet also approved an amendment in the Uttarakhand Minor Mineral Concession Rules 2001, according to which now riverbed material (RBM) can be mined up to a depth of three metres. According to earlier rules, RBM could be mined up to a depth of 1.5 metres.
The decision to bring an ordinance that will empower the state government to shutdown any slaughterhouse has come at a time when there has been stiff opposition to construction of a slaughterhouse in Haridwar. For the last few months, religious leaders and local representatives have been agitating against the construction of a slaughterhouse in Haridwar.
The local BJP leaders are emphasizing that mass slaughter of animals should not be allowed in the sacred area that is the gateway to Uttarakhand, which is also called ‘devbhoomi’ (Land of Gods).
The construction of a slaughterhouse in Gadharona village in Mangalore near Roorkee has become a major political issue with local BJP legislators coming out in the open against the abattoir. The 2,500 square metre slaughterhouse, with an outlay of Rs 3.25 crore, is proposed to have the capacity of slaughtering hundreds of goats and sheep along with buffaloes.
The approval for construction of the slaughterhouse was given during the previous Harish Rawat-led Congress government. Last month, Rawat while meeting seers from the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, a premier body of all thirteen major Akhadas, in Dehradun had assured them of looking into their demand regarding stopping the construction work of the slaughter house in Haridwar.
The Uttarakhand high court has also issued many directions regarding slaughterhouses in the state. On September 20, 2018, the high court had directed the state government to seal the illegal slaughterhouses in Uttarakhand within 72 hours. It also ordered banning the slaughter of animals in the open and in public view in the whole state while responding to a PIL filed by Haridwar based Parvez Alam.