No Takers for Wet Markets In City, Meat Vendors Reluctant

Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has constructed two Wet or Meat Markets at Unit IV and Ghatikia and a modern slaughterhouse at Gadakana to stop open slaughtering of animals. However, the multi-core projects are set to see failure as vendors are reluctant to take up the facilities.

The civic body initiated the projects in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling of stopping slaughtering of animals on the roads and other public places. The slaughterhouse was constructed for scientific butchering while the Wet markets are planned for the sale of meat in a hygienic way.

However, the plans have not changed anything at the ground level as vendors continue to sell meat on roadsides and in the open markets in an unhealthy and unhygienic condition. According to data available with the civic body, there are 630 meat sellers in the city.

Officials said that the projects have failed because of the reluctance of meat sellers. However, the meat sellers have a different taken on this. “They will butcher the animal in the slaughterhouse and give it to us for sale in the Wet markets. This concept will never work because of the customers only,” said Mohammad Irfan, a meat seller at Unit IV Market.

He said that customers usually want the meat to be cut fresh before them else they don’t buy it. “Customers often insist that we butcher the animals before them, but if there are Wet markets, they will get already butchered meat. This is never going to work and we don’t want to lose our customers,” said the meat seller.

The civic body had twice issued a public notice inviting vendors to take up units at the wet markets but did not get a positive response. “Our Estimation and Allotment Committee has fixed the prices for the shops and issued a public notice, but we have not got any application so far. We will make another attempt to attract the vendors,” said BMC Deputy Commissioner, Srimanta Mishra.

The civic body has spent Rs 6.40 crore for the construction of the modern slaughterhouse and Rs 3.80 crore for the two Wet markets. “One of the major reasons that vendors are not applying for the units is that not many of them have proper trade licenses,” said a senior civic body official.

He said that to get a unit at the Wet market, it is necessary to have a valid trade license and they will also have to pay the security money and monthly rent too. “As per our records, there are more than 300 unlicensed meat shops in the city. Their association is very strong and we are unable to take any steps to evict them,” said the official.

Shampur resident Aakash Sahoo said that the administration is coming up with some great projects, but the mindset of the people will never change. “Such modern projects will never yield results in a city like this at least for the time being. There is a need to come up with stricter rules for such vending,” said Sahoo.

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