Home India News Mutton disappears, chicken dearer as traders continue stir

Mutton disappears, chicken dearer as traders continue stir


New Delhi: A three-day old strike of meat traders, protesting closure of a two-century old abattoir in the heart of the city, has sent the price of chicken shooting through the roof and made mutton simply unavailable in the capital. Traders Sunday said they will continue their agitation till the government rolls back its decision.

The two-century-old abattoir near the walled city was closed down Thursday after a five-year legal battle between the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and meat trader associations here.

Amid much protests and on the Supreme Court’s directives, slaughter activities have been shifted to the newly-built, high-tech slaughter house in east Delhi’s Ghazipur.

Wadood Sajid, member of an organisation representing the Qureshi (butcher) community, told IANS: “The strike will continue till the government temporarily or permanently opens the Idgah slaughter house.”

Sajid, along with other members Sunday, met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and said: “She assured us that she will look into the matter.”

On the reason why there is acute shortage of meat, which is resulting into high prices, Sajid said that only 10 percent of the shops are open, and even these are getting their supplies from Noida, Gurgaon and other neighbouring places. “No slaughtering is taking place in the capital.”

He added that the Ghazipur slaughter house is in utter mess with lots of problems surrounding it and the MCD misled the court that it will clear the mess. It has failed to do so till date.

“It is the most unhygienic place for running a slaughter house,” Sajid said.

Muhammed Saghir Qureshi of the Bhai Saheb meat shop in south Delhi’s Gulmohar Park area, said: “Our previous slaughter house has been sealed and the government is forcing us to shift to a place which is the dump house of Delhi. The new area where we have been asked to shift is very dirty and not a place fit to prepare anything that is to be consumed.”

According to the meat associations around the capital, as many as 150,000 people in the business are suffering from the strike.

“We have made the necessary arrangements by a community welfare committee which is looking after the problems faced by such families,” Sajid said, calling on them to be patient for a struggle ahead.

The immediate impact of the butchers’ strike has been on the meat shops, a number of which are closed or have hiked prices, affecting the consumers.

Ravi, a worker at the Green Chick shop, said there has been no mutton supply for the last three days.

“Considering it was a weekend, a number of people are coming to buy mutton, but we have had to turn them away because we simply have no supply. We even have people calling us all through the day to know when the supply will resume. But we have no idea,” Ravi said.

Yasin Hussain, a meat shop owner in north Delhi said the price of chicken has risen from Rs.100 a kilo to almost Rs.150.

“Mutton supply has been hampered because of the strike but we have made alternate arrangements. Even three days back, mutton was selling at Rs.250 a kilo and chicken has gone up to Rs.150,” he said.