Neighbourhood meat shops slowly back in business in many areas

With enforcement agencies like police, municipal corporations and administration losing steam after about a week-long crackdown, illegal meat trade threatens to make a backdoor entry in UP. However, a vendor policy and roping in RWAs could go a long way in curbing illegal meat trade in Ghaziabad and Noida, say resident groups


Despite ban on ‘illegal’ meat shops in Uttar Pradesh meat shops across trans-Hindon areas of Ghaziabad are selling fowl meat in a discreet manner, learnt. In Sector 15 Vasundhara for instance, meat was being sold from inside a shop that was closed for the last few days.

Similarly across other colonies meat shop owners are selling meat in the same manner. Clearly there is a need of a workable vendor policy that would provide for a working license to these meat sellers and other vendors in UP.

Meanwhile, the meat traders of UP had called off their strike earlier after meeting with CM Yogi Adityanath. In a large state like UP even if valid licenses are given, it might be difficult to keep the illegal meat trade in check, for the law enforcement agencies like the police, municipal corporations and authorities. Herein, the help of local RWAs and citizen bodies can be taken to keep a check on illegal meat trade in urban areas. Also, a number of people dealing in illegal cow trade are being held up daily if one goes by reports in vernacular dailies in the state. Therefore, it becomes important to rope in RWA bodies who can act as vigilantes in keeping illegal meat traders at bay.

In Ghaziabad, RWA Federation, Ghaziabad had time and again raised the issue of granting vending licenses to vendors and hawkers who also have the right to earn a livelihood. However, it would require them to follow certain norms like not encroaching upon public spaces like pavements roadsides completely. Previously, the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam had assured the RWA Federation members to come out with a policy on street vendors and hawkers but it is still hanging fire.

However, as for the meat shops they are not to be allowed within residential colonies but these norms are often overlooked. This is primarily because in most cases a number of residents themselves are guilty of allowing such shops to function as they are consumers also,” pointed out Vikas Bhati, a Ghaziabad resident.

“One-time ban on meat shops, even if these are illegal won’t help as the shop owners would collide with police and law enforcement agencies sooner or later, like it happens with every other drive,” said Rajendra Singh Chahal of Noida, Sector 120. He added, “To give an example, recently the administration in Ghaziabad and Noida carried out an anti-encroachment drive against roadside hawkers and vendors after the new government was sworn in; but now, after a while, these hawkers are gradually setting up shop again.”

There is another part to the story. “The meat eating consumers are rising in the urban areas so why would they report the presence of  a meat shop in the neighbourhood,” wondered Sumita Kandpal, a Vaishali resident.

The only measure that can be a success is that there should be a proper policy to rehabilitate these meat vendors to a location on the fringes of a colony, after they are given a license to operate, averred several residents.

In addition to this, the place hosting these meat sellers should also have CCTV cameras installed so that they do not kill any banned animal in their precincts, pointed out citizens spoke to.

-Prasoon Pant


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