The stand-off between the Muncipal Corporation Of Delhi and the meat traders in the capital continued on Monday with the traders staying away from the new abattoir at Ghazipur.
Acting on a court order, the MCD had on Thursday shifted the 'halal' section of the 200-year-old Idgah slaughterhouse in central Delhi to Ghazipur abattoir, a move opposed by meat traders who said they will not move to the new facility.
With mutton unavailable throughout the city, the prices of chicken have gone through the roof. A senior MCD official said the civic agency will cancel the licences of meat traders if they do not fall in line.
The MCD has constructed a new state-of-the-art slaughterhouse at Ghazipur. Under a Supreme Court order, it will have to close down the existing abattoir at Idgah and shift all operations to Ghazipur.
Though the 'jhatka' section of Idgah abattoir has already been shifted, the 'halal' section was yet to be closed due to opposition from a section of meat sellers. The buffalo section will be moved on October 29, which will finally bring the curtains down on the centuries-old abattoir at Idgah.
The butchers had been saying that the new slaughterhouse lies near a landfill site and is "unhygienic". There is also lack of toilet and other facilities, they said.
The traders today held a meet at Idgah and decided that they will only shift to Ghazipur if the facilities were improved. They also said there will be no illegal slaughtering.
The legislative wing of MCD had earlier requested the Commissioner to defer the shifting of operations by a month in view of the Bakr-Id on November 28.
Mohd Qureshi, president of the Delhi Meat Merchants' Association, said the place where the abattoir lies "has so much dust that it may affect the lungs of those who work there. The centre lacks proper toilet facilities and accommodation for butchers who will have to stay there for most part of the day," he said.
Qureshi also claimed that while at Idgah they slaughter 1,000 animals per day, at Ghazipur, 560 animals are slaughtered in a month. "The charges of slaughtering are several times more. While it is Rs 5 for a goat at Idgah, it is Rs 90 in Ghazipur," he said.
"The Supreme Court wanted that people in Delhi should get hygienic meat. What the MCD has done will make 10,000 people here unemployed," he alleged.
The MCD, however, said only 2,500 animals per day are being slaughtered at Idgah slaughterhouse in three sections whereas 5,000 animals in one shift and 10,000 animals in two shifts per day will be slaughtered in Ghazipur.
"The Idgah slaughterhouse is surrounded by thickly populated residential areas and causing problems of traffic jams, sanitation and unhygienic conditions whereas Ghazipur slaughterhouse has been constructed on the land which is wide and open and has very convenient approach from NH-24," an MCD official said.
"Steps are being taken for closure or shifting of sanitary landfill site from Ghazipur and same would be closed very shortly," he added. PTI